8 junio, 2024

The 10 Most Outstanding Characteristics of Matter

The main characteristics of matter They are associated with its physical constitution and the different properties it has, its main states being liquid, solid and gaseous. Matter is any object, substance or element that occupies a place in space and has a certain mass. Everything that surrounds us can be considered matter.

Matter is made up of other smaller elements: molecules and atoms. The configuration of the atoms is what determines what their state will be: while the atoms are closer and more rigid, the matter will be more solid; and if the atoms are relaxed and do not exert much force on each other, the matter will be more gaseous.

Depending on the state in which it is presented to us, matter can have specific peculiarities.

Main characteristics of the matter

1- Three main states: solid, liquid and gaseous

Matter can mainly appear in three states, and each one has very particular characteristics.

First is the solid state, which has a specific and constant volume. In solid matter, the atoms that make it up generate a hardened structure resistant to external forces. An example of solid matter can be a piece of wood.

Second is the liquid state of matter. The union of its atoms is more flexible, which allows it to be an element without any rigidity. Given this fluidity, liquid matter adapts to the context in which it is found. Water is the clearest example of a liquid matter.

In third place is matter in a gaseous state. In this state, matter does not have a definite shape since its atoms are very far apart and do not have a strong attraction between themselves, which allows it to float in space. Oxygen is a matter in a gaseous state.

There are two other less common states of matter: superfluid and supersolid.

The superfluid state of matter corresponds to the total absence of viscosity, which eliminates friction and allows matter to flow infinitely if it is located in a closed circuit. The supersolid state corresponds to matter that is solid and liquid at the same time.

It is believed that helium can be the possessor of these five states of matter: solid, liquid, gaseous, superfluid and supersolid.

2- Mass

Mass is associated with the amount of matter located in the same volume. That is, how many elements are in a given body.

The mass will always be the same, no matter where the object is located. The standard unit of mass is the gram.

3- Weight

Weight has to do with the impact exerted by the force of gravity on a specific object. That is, it is the force of attraction that the Earth executes on a body. The unit of measure for weight is the Newton.

4- Volume

The volume is related to the space occupied by bodies or objects. The default unit of volume is milliliter.

5- Density

Density is the relationship between the mass and volume of an object: by combining the mass and volume that coexist in the same body, it is possible to find the specific amount of mass that is in a volume.

The density is usually high in solid matters, measuring less in liquids and much less in gaseous matters.

6- Homogeneous or heterogeneous

Matter is divided into two groups: homogeneous or heterogeneous. In homogeneous matter it is not possible to identify with the naked eye (sometimes not even using a microscope) the elements that compose it.

For its part, heterogeneous matter allows easy visualization of the elements of which it is composed.

An example of homogeneous matter could be air; and an example of heterogeneous matter can be the mixture of water with oil.

7- Temperature

This characteristic has to do with the amount of heat or cold that is perceived in a given body.

Between two objects with different temperatures a heat transfer occurs, and the hotter body will transmit energy to the colder body. For example, when lighting a fire and bringing cold hands closer to it, the latter will warm up thanks to the action of the fire.

When both objects have the same temperature, no heat transfer occurs. For example, when you have two ice cubes, one next to the other, they both maintain the same temperature.

8- Impenetrability

This feature is related to the fact that each object in space occupies a specific place, and two bodies cannot occupy the same space at the same time.

If two objects try to fit into the same space, one of them will be displaced. For example, if an ice cube is placed in a glass of water, the level of the water will rise a little; that is, it will be displaced by the ice cube.

9- Inertia

Matter by itself maintains its state of rest unless an external force makes it change it. That is, objects cannot move or scroll by themselves; if they do, it is due to the action of a force coming from outside.

For example, a car cannot start on its own; once all the machinery is turned on and running, the car is capable of moving. The greater the mass of the object, the greater its inertia.

10- Divisibility

All matter is capable of being divided into smaller pieces. These divisions can be so small that there is even talk of separating into molecules and atoms. That is, it is possible to divide a body many times.

11- Compressibility

This characteristic indicates that matter is capable of reducing its volume when subjected to a certain pressure at a constant temperature.

For example, if soil is thrown into a pot, it will occupy a certain space; If the soil is pressed hard, it will compress and more soil can be thrown into the container.

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