What are the states of physical matter.

When simplifying matters as much as possible, you can say that most of the objects and entities around you that you can measure in one way or another are considered a material, for example, any object made of wood or metal is a material that has dimensions and weight, however, you can notice The presence of things that can be measured but not considered a substance such as light whose intensity can be measured and is not considered a substance in and of itself, as well as with some things that you cannot measure such as human feelings and sensations.

What Is the Definition of “Matter” in Physics?

Matter has many definitions, but the most common is that it is any substance which has mass and occupies space. All physical objects are composed of matter, in the form of atoms, which are in turn composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons.

The definition of the matter.

Matter is anything that has a mass and occupies a space of space called volume, and in this context, you must know that from a physical point of view, matter is expressed through several concepts of mass, volume and density.

Mass is the amount of matter that the body contains and is measured in grams, kilograms, or Tons or others, and as for volume, it is the amount of space of the space occupied by the substance, which is measured in liters or cubic meters, while density is the amount of matter that the body possesses in a specific volume, and to find density, divide the mass of the object by its volume according to the relationship: density = mass / volume.

All matter consists of atoms, which in turn are made of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Atoms group together to form molecules, which are the basic building blocks of all types of matter. Both atoms and molecules are held together by a form of energy called potential energy.

The arrangement of the particles of a substance represents the degree of strength of the bonds between them, as well as the space or distance between the particles are the basic factors that give the substance its properties and characteristics, and accordingly, the substance is generally divided into several types or shapes.

Examples of Matter.

Matter is built from atoms. The most basic atom, the isotope of hydrogen known as protium, is a single proton. So, although subatomic particles aren’t always considered forms of matter by some scientists, you could consider Protium to be the exception. Some people consider electrons and neutrons to also be forms of matter. Otherwise, any substance built of atoms consists of matter.

Examples include:

▪️Atoms (hydrogen, helium, californium, uranium).

▪️Molecules (water, ozone, nitrogen gas, sucrose).

▪️Ions (Ca2+, SO42-).

▪️Polymers and Macromolecules (cellulose, chitin, proteins, DNA).

▪️Mixtures (oil and water, salt and sand, air)Complex Forms (a chair, a planet, a ball).

While protons, neutrons, and electrons are the building blocks of atoms, these particles are themselves based on fermions. Quarks and leptons typically aren’t considered forms of matter, although they do fit certain definitions of the term. At most levels, it’s simplest to state simply that matter consists of atoms.

Antimatter is still matter, although the particles annihilate ordinary matter when they contact each other. Antimatter exists naturally on Earth, although in extremely small quantities.

Then, there are things that either have no mass or at least have no rest mass.

Things that are not matter include:







Photons have no mass, so they are an example of something in physics that is not comprised of matter. They are also not considered “objects” in the traditional sense, as they cannot exist in a stationary state.

Phases of Matter.

Matter can exist in various phases:

solid, liquid, gas, or plasma.

Most substances can transition between these phases based on the amount of heat the material absorbs (or loses). There are additional states or phases of matter,

including Bose-Einstein condensates, fermionic condensates, and quark-gluon plasma.


It is a material that maintains its size and shape without a bowl; Since it is a substance whose particles can only move freely to vibrate, the particles of solid are closely grouped together, the forces between the particles are strong enough that the particles cannot move freely; They can only vibrate, as a result solid matter has a fixed, defined shape and specific size, and solids can only change shape under force, as is the case when it is broken or sheared.

In crystalline solids, the particles are packed into a uniformly arranged repeating pattern, and there are many different crystal structures, and the same material can have more than one structure.

A solid can turn into a liquid through melting, and a liquid can turn into a solid through freezing, also a solid can directly turn into a gas through a process called sublimation.

▪️The gaseous substance:

It is a substance that can only be contained if it is completely enclosed in a container (or held together by gravity); As it is a substance that has little interactions between molecules and can move freely, gas molecules have very weak bonds or no bonds at all, so they can move freely and quickly, which is why the gas will not only match the shape of its container, but will also expand to fill the container Completely.

Gas molecules have sufficient kinetic energy so that the effect of the intermolecular forces is small (or zero for an ideal gas), and they are very far apart from each other; The typical distance between neighboring particles is also much greater than the size of the particles themselves.

A gas at a temperature less than its critical temperature can also be called a vapor, and the vapor can also be liquefied through pressure without cooling, and it can also exist in equilibrium with a liquid (or solid), in which case the gas pressure is equal to the vapor pressure of the liquid (or Steel).

A supercritical liquid (SCF) is a gas whose temperature and pressure are greater than the critical temperature and critical pressure, in which case the distinction between liquid and gas disappears, as the supercritical fluid possesses the physical properties of the gas, but its high density imparts solvent properties in some cases.

▪️Liquid state:

It is a substance that flows and does not maintain a specific shape; Because its particles are not compact and move continuously, and take the shape of their own container but maintain a nearly constant volume regardless of pressure, the volume is specific (does not change) if the temperature and pressure are constant, and when a solid is heated above its melting point, it becomes liquid because the pressure Above the triple point of the material.

The intermolecular (or interatomic or interionic) forces are still important, but the particles have enough energy to move, which makes the structure mobile, this means that the liquid is not specific in shape but rather corresponds to the shape of its package, and its volume is usually larger than its corresponding solid size ( Water is a known exception to this rule), just as the highest temperature at which a certain liquid can be present is called the critical temperature.

A liquid can be converted into a gas by heating at a constant pressure to the boiling point of the substance or by reducing the pressure at a constant temperature, the process of converting a liquid into a gas is called evaporation.

Matter Versus Mass.

Note that while matter has mass, and massive objects contain matter, the two terms are not exactly synonymous, at least in physics. Matter is not conserved, while mass is conserved in closed systems. According to the theory of special relativity, matter in a closed system may disappear. Mass, on the other hand, may never have been created nor destroyed, although it can be converted into energy. The sum of mass and energy remains constant in a closed system.

Reference :

Andrew Zimmerman Jones (30-9-2016), “Matter – Definition in Physical Sciences”،

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