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Why Matter Matters


Matter: Anything that has mass and occupies volume. It is the general term for the substance of which all physical objects are made.

Mass:  In the generally sense it is the amount of matter in an object. It is the term for two properties of matter that are equal in value: inertial mass gravitational mass.

Inertial Mass:  The resistance of a body to acceleration when responding to force.

F = A m

F = force

A = acceleration

m = mass

Gravitational Mass: Property of an object that determines the strength of its gravitational field and its reaction to gravity.           

F = force

G = gravitational constant
 = 6.6710−11 kg−1 m3 s−2.

m1 = 1st mass.

m2 = 2nd mass.

r = distance between the centers of the two masses


The existence of a relationship between the inertial and gravitational mass of an object is evident from the fact that they have same the value. However General Relativity shows that inertial and gravitational mass are two aspects of the same thing.

Mass Energy Equivalence

Special Relativity shows that an objects mass is equivalent to the amount of energy an object contains.


E = mc2

E = energy

m = mass

c = speed of light in a vacuum

SI Unit

Kilogram: A mass equal to the mass of the international prototype of the kilogram.

It is based on the gram which is the mass of 1cm3 of water and  that kilogram is the mass of 1000 cm3 of water.

States of matter

There are 3 main states of matter with distinctions based on differences in bulk properties. They form a triad with each one able change directly to the other two. Other forms are called states exist but they mainly are variations of these three.

Thee Main States of Matter

Solid A definite volume and definite shape.
Liquid Definite volume but no definite shape.

No definite volume or shape.

Plasma is commonly called the 4th State of Matter. It is an ionized gas where electrons have been freed their atoms; usually by heat. It is mainly an extreme form of gas with all defining characteristics of a gas that is no definite volume or shape. It is the most common form of normal matter.

Normal Matter is composed of atoms. Atoms are a nucleus; made of protons and neutrons; with electrons around it. This form of matter in what we commonly experience. Matter makes up everything around us, everything we see, everything we touch and even our bodies.

Matter is one of the three main parts of the Universe Space, Time and Mass. (matter) Relativity shows them to be inter-related in that space and time are so interrelated that they form a single entity called space-time. Furthermore mass warps space-time forming gravity and the motion of mass contracts both space and time.


 In common experience matter is what makes up objects around us and Physics has shown that it to be a lot more. Matter is a fundamental part of the universe.


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