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.

Electric Charge

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Electricity consists of charges carried by electrons, protons, and other particles. Electric charge comes in two forms: positive and negative. Electrons and protons both carry exactly the same amount of electric charge, but the positive charge of the proton is exactly opposite the negative charge of the electron. If an object has more protons than electrons, it is said to be positively charged; if it has more electrons than protons, it is said to be negatively charged. If an object contains as many protons as electrons, the charges will cancel each other and the object is said to be uncharged, or electrically neutral.

Electricity occurs in two forms: static electricity and electric current. Static electricity consists of electric charges that stay in one place. An electric current is a flow of electric charges between objects or locations.