Introduction to Physical Science/1.6

Matter And Energy edit

Matter and Energy are the two components of our universe. This means that everything is either matter or energy. Matter is perceived as physical objects, while energy is the forces that act upon and in conjunction with the matter in the universe.

Matter edit


matter (uncountable and countable; plural: matters)

  1. The basic structural component of the universe. Matter always consists of a mass and a volume, and contains its mass times the speed of light squared in total energy stored.
  2. A kind of substance.

Matter represents the physical objects in the universe. Matter, although it appears and acts in ways that are far different from energy, is actually captured energy itself. This can be proven when one looks very closely at the structure of matter that begins with a very, very small component.

Atoms edit

Matter begins with atoms. Atoms are the Building Blocks of everything. An atom is made up of several even smaller parts. What makes atoms matter, and every piece below it energy is that the electrons and nucleus are held together by both the "electromagnetic force" and nuclear force. Nuclear force is the force that holds all the pieces of the atom together, it works because of the opposite properties of the different pieces of an atom.

Pieces of an Atom edit

Protons edit

Protons are very small particles that have a positive electric charge. The protons within an atom reside within the nucleus. The number of protons is always equal to the number of electrons within an atom. Proton count cannot be changed excepting when the atom is placed under very special conditions within a special scientific apparatus called a supercollider or an atom smasher.

Neutrons edit

Neutrons are tiny particles that have a neutral electric charge. These particles reside inside the nucleus. Neutrons do not effect the element of the atom, but they may affect the isotope of the element

Electrons edit

Electrons are particles that are hundreds of times smaller than protons and neutrons. The electrons reside within the electron cloud which surrounds the nucleus . The electrons within the electron cloud travel at different distances from the atomic wall these levels are called shells. The number of electrons within a shell can be determined with the formula 2n^2 or 2 times the number of the shell to the second power. Therefore the first shell holds 2 electrons, the second holds 8, and the third holds 18.

Nucleus edit

The Nucleus of an atom is the center, where the protons and neutrons exist. The nucleus contains 99% of the mass of the atom.

Mass edit

Mass is the Standard SI system measurement of how much matter an object contains. The standard unit for mass in general terms is the gram.

Energy edit

Noun energy (plural energies)

  1. The impetus behind all motion and all activity.
  2. The capacity of an entity to do work.
  3. (physics) A quantity that denotes the ability to do work and is measured in a unit dimensioned in mass × distance²/time² (ML²/T²) or the equivalent.

Energy is the ability to cause change or to do work. Energy comes in many, many forms; some of the most common forms we experience on earth are: heat, light, and movement. Energy is separated into two different categories: Potential and Kinetic.

Types of Energy edit

Potential edit

Potential energy is energy that is "stored" i.e. not being used. This can mean any type of energy that is not being spent. For example, a book that is carried to the top of a tower has potential energy; which was put into the object when it was carried to the top of the tower. It has potential energy because it is acting against gravity. In physics, every action has an equal and opposite re-action. The action wAS the book being elevated to the top of the tower. And the re-action would be the book falling or otherwise descending to the ground. This is only one type of potential energy, potential energy can exist in many states such as:

  • Food (broken down into simple components and expended by respiration)
  • Electric Current (stored in batteries, or generators)
  • A Spring (mechanical devices, when expanded or contracted too far)

Kinetic edit

Kinetic energy is energy that is in use. Kinetic energy is the energy that radiates, moves, shines, and heats. This type of energy is very common in our universe. Kinetic energy is very, very changeable; all its forms are interchangeable. As shown below

  • Motion ----> Heat (through conduction)
  • Heat ----> Motion (through convection)
  • Light ----> Heat (through radiation)

Types of Kinetic Energy edit

  • Motion is the type of kinetic energy that moves physical objects through space
  • Heat is the type of kinetic energy that moves the molecules of a physical object. This causes the objects temperature to rise.
  • Light is the type of energy that radiates through space in waves and beams. Light is categorized into a spectrum. Visible light is the light we can see reflected off of objects, while other types of light such as x-rays, gamma rays, and radio waves cause radiation.

Vocabulary and Questions edit

  • Temperature is the average amount of kinetic energy that a group of molecules or atoms has because of random movement of the molecules.
  • Heat is the total amount of kinetic energy that a group of molecules has because of the random movement of the molecules.
  • Thermodynamics is the branch of science dealing with energy in the universe and the interaction of that energy with physical objects. We will talk more about Thermodynamics later.
  • Conduction is the transfer of kinetic energy from one object to another through direct contact.
  • Convection is the transfer of kinetic energy by currents within a fluid.
  • Radiation is the transfer of kinetic energy through space.

Section Review edit

Covering The Reading edit

  1. Describe matter and energy in your own words
  2. Define the parts of an atom and their purpose in the atom
  3. What is an Element?
  4. How are matter and energy related?
  5. Which is the smallest piece of an atom?
  6. Which part of the atom determines the atomic number?
  7. Which type of energy can cause motion?
  8. Which type of energy transfer moves kinetic energy through liquids?

Critical Thinking edit

  1. Suppose that you are using a heat lamp in your bathroom, what is the method by which the kinetic energy it generates is transferred through space?
  2. If a proton has a weight of 1unit and an electron has a weight of .007 units than how much does an atom of hydrogen with 3 neutrons weigh?

Exploration edit

1) Look at the periodic table of the elements

  • What element has atomic number one
  • What elements fall into the noble gas set?

2) Draw a diagram of an atom include the following

  • Nucleus with
    • Protons
    • Neutrons
  • Electron shell With
    • The correct number of electrons
    • The electrons in their appropriate shells