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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

A Brief Intro to Matter and Energy

  Whether it's examining the wing of a butterfly or becoming enchanted by the pulsating waves on a lake a love for nature that comes from the heart is something precious. This appreciation serves as a source of inspiration for arts and creative pursuits, physical exploration and activities, and later intellectual understanding as to why we not only enjoy it, but need it.
As many of us come to realize as we age, while simply a love for the natural world can be enough to spark many peoples' interest in science, coming to understand the technical aspects is sometimes required to reach other people, going from head to heart.
A very young friend of mine is curious by nature and is very eager to move on to more abstract concepts in science, so sometimes we'll discuss science together. I am no science teacher, but recently I've decided to type out a few things to help in explaining some things. In case you or someone else would like a small introduction, here is the first sheet. Stay tuned for more in coming posts!


Everything we can measure in our physical world is made up of matter or energy.

Matter takes up space and has mass.
Mass is the amount of matter an object has, and is can be measured by weighing an object. Our physical bodies use matter in different ways: we use it to build things and we consume it, but humans cannot create matter (it must already be there for us to use).
Matter comes in different states: solid, liquid, and gas, and a fourth state, plasma.
Example: Water is mass. At freezing temperatures, water is in solid ice. At room temperature water is a liquid. At very warm temperatures, water is vapor. No matter what state it is in, solid, liquid, or gas, it is still water.

Energy is power, or the ability to make things work and happen.
There are different kinds of energy.
Example: Heat is thermal energy. Heat is not made of matter, but it can interact with matter. It can melt ice and warm you up.

Everything that happens in nature is because of the way matter and energy have been designed to behave, or move around. Matter and energy can move fast or slow, in different directions, and can interact with other matter and energy. It all works together because matter and energy follow specially-designed for the physical universe.

Here are some examples:

Is it matter or energy?
A tree

Orange juice

The air we breathe



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