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Encyclopedia > Matter

In chemistry and physics, matter is commonly defined as the substance of which physical objects are composed, not counting the contribution of various energy or force-fields, which are not usually considered to be matter per se (though they may contribute to the mass of objects). Matter constitutes much of the observable universe, although again, light is not ordinarily considered matter. Unfortunately, for scientific purposes, "matter" is somewhat loosely defined. Concerning the definition of "matter", V.I. Lenin in his work "Materialism and empiriocriticism" proposed to define "matter" as the objective reality, which is given in our senses and is reflected by them. Look up matter in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Chemistry (disambiguation). ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... Water and steam are two different forms of the same chemical substance A chemical substance is any material with a definite chemical composition, no matter where it comes from. ... Force field may refer to: Force field (science fiction) Force field (physics), a vector field indicating the forces exerted by one object on another Force field (chemistry), a set of parameter and equations for use in molecular mechanics simulations Force field analysis, a concept in the social sciences Force field... For other uses, see Mass (disambiguation). ... See universe for a general discussion of the universe. ...



Matter is the stuff which things are made of and consists of chemical substances. These are made of atoms, which are made of protons, neutrons and electrons. In this way, matter is contrasted with 'energy' inversely 'energy' is an expression of matter. Water and steam are two different forms of the same chemical substance A chemical substance is any material with a definite chemical composition, no matter where it comes from. ... For alternative meanings see proton (disambiguation). ... Properties In physics, the neutron is a subatomic particle with no net electric charge and a mass of 940 MeV/c² (1. ... Properties The electron (also called negatron, commonly represented as e−) is a subatomic particle. ...

In physics, there is no broad consensus as to an exact definition of matter. Physicists generally do not use the word when precision is needed, preferring instead to speak of the more clearly defined concepts of mass, energy and particles. A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... For other uses, see Mass (disambiguation). ... For the novel, see The Elementary Particles. ...

A possible definition of matter which at least some physicists use [1] is that it is everything that is constituted of elementary fermions. These are the leptons, including the electron, and the quarks, including the up and down quarks of which protons and neutrons are made. Since protons, neutrons and electrons combine to form atoms, atoms, molecules and the bulk substances which they make up are all matter. Matter also includes the various baryons and mesons. Things which are not matter include light (photons) and the other gauge bosons. In particle physics, an elementary particle is a particle of which other, larger particles are composed. ... In particle physics, fermions are particles with half-integer spin, such as protons and electrons. ... For other uses, see Electron (disambiguation). ... For other uses of this term, see: Quark (disambiguation) 1974 discovery photograph of a possible charmed baryon, now identified as the Σc++ In particle physics, the quarks are subatomic particles thought to be elemental and indivisible. ... For alternative meanings see proton (disambiguation). ... Properties In physics, the neutron is a subatomic particle with no net electric charge and a mass of 940 MeV/c² (1. ... In particle physics, the baryons are a family of subatomic particles including the proton and the neutron (collectively called Greek barys, meaning heavy, as they are heavier than the other main groups of particles. ... In particle physics, a meson is a strongly interacting boson, that is, it is a hadron with integral spin. ... Gauge bosons are bosonic particles which act as carriers of the fundamental forces of Nature. ...

However, this definition is not always satisfying when examined closely. In particular, under this definition things may have mass without being matter:

  • W and Z bosons have mass, but are not elementary fermions.
  • Any two photons which are not moving parallel to each other, taken as a system, have an invariant mass.
  • Glueballs have mass due to their binding energy, but contain no particle with mass, nor any elementary fermions.

And they may be matter without having mass: In physics, the W and Z bosons are the elementary particles that mediate the weak nuclear force. ... The invariant mass or intrinsic mass or proper mass or just mass is a measurement or calculation of the mass of an object that is the same for all frames of reference. ... Identities and classification of possible tetraquark mesons. ...

  • Most of the mass of protons and neutrons comes from the binding energy between the quarks, not the masses of the quarks themselves.
  • One of the three types of neutrinos may be massless.
  • The up quark may be massless.[2]

Usage note regarding matter and anti-matter

There is a semantic difficulty with the word "matter", since it has two meanings, one of which includes the other. "Matter" may mean either:

  1. The opposite of anti-matter (e.g. electrons, but not positions)
  2. Both matter as defined in the previous line and anti-matter (e.g. both electrons and positrons)

The same difficulty occurs with the word particle. Look up position in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Hi my name is Rob. See my parents aboded me, so now im hear.

Properties of matter

As individual particles

Quarks combine to form hadrons. Because of the principle of color confinement which occurs in the strong interaction, quarks never exist unbound from other quarks. Among the hadrons are the proton and the neutron. Usually these nuclei are surrounded by a cloud of electrons. A nucleus with as many electrons as protons is thus electrically neutral and is called an atom, otherwise it is an ion. A hadron, in particle physics, is a subatomic particle which experiences the nuclear force. ... Colour confinement (often just confinement) is the physics phenomenon that color charged particles (such as quarks) cannot be isolated. ... The strong interaction or strong force is today understood to represent the interactions between quarks and gluons as detailed by the theory of quantum chromodynamics (QCD). ... Properties For other meanings of Atom, see Atom (disambiguation). ... This article is about the electrically charged particle. ...

Leptons do not feel the strong force and so can exist unbound from other particles. On Earth, electrons are generally bound in atoms, but it is easy to free them, a fact which is exploited in the cathode ray tube. Muons may briefly form bound states known as muonic atoms. Neutrinos feel neither the strong nor the electromagnetic interactions. They are never bound to other particles.[1] Cathode ray tube employing electromagnetic focus and deflection Cutaway rendering of a color CRT: 1. ... A muonium particle is an exotic atom made up of a positive muon and an electron, and is given the symbol Mu or μ+e–. During the muons 2 microsecond lifetime, muonium can enter into compounds such as muonium chloride (MuCl) or sodium muonide (NaMu). ... Electromagnetic interaction is a fundamental force of nature and is felt by charged leptons and quarks. ...

As bulk matter

Homogeneous matter has a definite composition and properties and any amount of it has the same composition and properties. It may be a mixture, such as brass, or elemental, like pure iron. Heterogeneous matter, such as granite, does not have a definite composition. “Brazen” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Iron (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see granite (disambiguation). ...


In bulk, matter can exist in several different phases, according to pressure and temperature. A phase is a state of a macroscopic physical system that has relatively uniform chemical composition and physical properties (i.e. density, crystal structure, index of refraction, and so forth). These phases include the three familiar ones — solids, liquids, and gases — as well as plasmas, superfluids, supersolids, Bose-Einstein condensates, fermionic condensates, liquid crystals, strange matter and quark-gluon plasmas. There are also the paramagnetic and ferromagnetic phases of magnetic materials. As conditions change, matter may change from one phase into another. These phenomena are called phase transitions, and their energetics are studied in the field of thermodynamics. Bulk can refer to: Bulk mail Bulk Purchasing Bulk liquids Bulk material handling Bulk and Skull, a pair of characters in the Power Rangers universe. ... In the physical sciences, a phase is a set of states of a macroscopic physical system that have relatively uniform chemical composition and physical properties (i. ... This article is about pressure in the physical sciences. ... For other uses, see Temperature (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Density (disambiguation). ... Enargite crystals In mineralogy and crystallography, a crystal structure is a unique arrangement of atoms in a crystal. ... The refractive index (or index of refraction) of a medium is a measure for how much the speed of light (or other waves such as sound waves) is reduced inside the medium. ... For other uses, see Solid (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Liquid (disambiguation). ... Gas can also refer to gasoline and natural gas and also hydrogen. ... For other uses, see Plasma. ... Helium II will creep along surfaces in order to find its own level - after a short while, the levels in the two containers will equalize. ... Phase diagram for 4He A supersolid is a spatially ordered superfluid. ... A Bose–Einstein condensate is a phase of matter formed by bosons cooled to temperatures very near to absolute zero (0 kelvins or -273. ... A fermionic condensate is a superfluid phase formed by fermionic particles at low temperatures. ... Schlieren texture of Liquid Crystal nematic phase Liquid crystals are substances that exhibit a phase of matter that has properties between those of a conventional liquid, and those of a solid crystal. ... This article is considered orphaned, since there are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... A QGP is formed at the collision point of two relativistically accelerated gold ions in the center of the STAR detector at the relativistic heavy ion collider at the Brookhaven national laboratory. ... Simple Illustration of a paramagnetic probe made up from miniature magnets. ... Ferromagnetism is the phenomenon by which materials, such as iron, in an external magnetic field become magnetized and remain magnetized for a period after the material is no longer in the field. ... For other uses, see Magnet (disambiguation). ... This diagram shows the nomenclature for the different phase transitions. ... Thermodynamics (from the Greek θερμη, therme, meaning heat and δυναμις, dynamis, meaning power) is a branch of physics that studies the effects of changes in temperature, pressure, and volume on physical systems at the macroscopic scale by analyzing the collective motion of their particles using statistics. ...

In small quantities, matter can exhibit properties that are entirely different from those of bulk material and may not be well described by any phase.

Phases are sometimes called states of matter, but this term can lead to confusion with thermodynamic states. For example, two gases maintained at different pressures are in different thermodynamic states, but the same "state of matter". Thermodynamics (from the Greek θερμη, therme, meaning heat and δυναμις, dynamis, meaning power) is a branch of physics that studies the effects of changes in temperature, pressure, and volume on physical systems at the macroscopic scale by analyzing the collective motion of their particles using statistics. ...


Main article: Antimatter

In particle physics and quantum chemistry, antimatter is matter that is composed of the antiparticles of those that constitute normal matter. If a particle and its antiparticle come into contact with each other, the two annihilate; that is, they may both be converted into other particles with equal energy in accordance with Einstein's equation E = mc2. These new particles may be high-energy photons (gamma rays) or other particle–antiparticle pairs. The resulting particles are endowed with an amount of kinetic energy equal to the difference between the rest mass of the products of the annihilation and the rest mass of the original particle-antiparticle pair, which is often quite large. For other senses of this term, see antimatter (disambiguation). ... Thousands of particles explode from the collision point of two relativistic (100 GeV per nucleon) gold ions in the STAR detector of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. ... Quantum chemistry is a branch of theoretical chemistry, which applies quantum mechanics and quantum field theory to address issues and problems in chemistry. ... Corresponding to most kinds of particle, there is an associated antiparticle with the same mass and opposite charges. ... Annihilation is defined as total destruction or complete obliteration of an object;[1] having its root in the Latin nihil (nothing). ... Einstein redirects here. ... Albert Einsteins equation E=mc² is among the best-known equations of all time. ... In modern physics the photon is the elementary particle responsible for electromagnetic phenomena. ... This article is about electromagnetic radiation. ... The term mass in special relativity is used in a couple of different ways, occasionally leading to a great deal of confusion. ...

Antimatter is not found naturally on Earth, except very briefly and in vanishingly small quantities (as the result of radioactive decay or cosmic rays). This is because antimatter which came to exist on Earth outside the confines of a suitable physics laboratory would almost instantly meet the ordinary matter that Earth is made of, and be annihilated. Antiparticles and some stable antimatter (such as antihydrogen) can be made in tiny amounts, but not in enough quantity to do more than test a few of its theoretical properties. Radioactive decay is the process in which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by emitting radiation in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves. ... Cosmic rays can loosely be defined as energetic particles originating outside of the Earth. ... Antihydrogen is the antimatter counterpart of hydrogen. ...

There is considerable speculation both in science and science fiction as to why the observable universe is apparently almost entirely matter, whether other places are almost entirely antimatter instead, and what might be possible if antimatter could be harnessed, but at this time the apparent asymmetry of matter and antimatter in the visible universe is one of the great unsolved problems in physics. Possible processes by which it came about are explored in more detail under baryogenesis. A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Symmetry is a characteristic of geometrical shapes, equations and other objects; we say that such an object is symmetric with respect to a given operation if this operation, when applied to the object, does not appear to change it. ... This is a list of some of the unsolved problems in physics. ... Baryogenesis is the generic designation for the physical processes that generate matter (more specifically, a class of fundamental particle called baryon) from an otherwise matter-empty state (such as it is generally believed to be the state of the Universe at its onset, the so-called Big Bang). ...

Dark matter

Main article: Dark matter

In cosmology, most models of the early universe and big bang require the existence of so called dark matter. This matter would have energy and mass, but would NOT be composed of either elementary fermions (as above) OR gauge bosons. As such, it would be composed of particles unknown to present science. Its existence is inferential at this point. For other uses, see Dark matter (disambiguation). ... Cosmology, from the Greek: κοσμολογία (cosmologia, κόσμος (cosmos) order + λογια (logia) discourse) is the study of the Universe in its totality, and by extension, humanitys place in it. ... For other uses, see Big Bang (disambiguation). ...


  1. ^ a b Povh, Rith, Scholz, Zetche, Particles and Nuclei, 1999, ISBN 3540438238
  2. ^ Particle Data Group's Review of Particle Physics 2006

See also

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  Results from FactBites:
Chem4Kids.com: Matter (286 words)
Matter is anything made of atoms and molecules.
Matter is also related to light and electromagnetic radiation.
Even though matter can be found all over the universe, you usually find it in just a few forms.
  More results at FactBites »



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