Matter & Energy

Matter is composed of atoms or groups of atoms called molecules. The arrangement of particles in a material depends on the physical state of the substance. In a solid, particles form a compact structure that resists flow. Particles in a liquid have more energy than those in a solid. They can flow past one another, but they remain close. Particles in a gas have the most energy. They move rapidly and are separated from one another by relatively large distances.


Nucleus (atomic structure), in atomic structure, the positively charged central mass of an atom about which the orbital electrons revolve. The nucleus is composed of nucleons, that is, protons and neutrons, and its mass accounts for nearly the entire mass of the atom.

See Elementary Particles; Neutron; Proton.

See also: Nuclear Energy; Electron