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.

Heat and Power

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A conductor’s resistance to electric current produces heat. The greater the current passing through the conductor, the greater the heat. Also, the greater the resistance, the greater the heat. A current of I amp passing through a resistance of R ohms for t seconds generates an amount of heat equal to joules (a joule is a unit of energy equal to 0.239 calorie).

Energy is required to drive an electric current through a resistance. This energy is supplied by the source of the current, such as a battery or an electric generator. The rate at which energy is supplied to a device is called power, and it is often measured in units called watts. The power P supplied by a current of I amp passing through a resistance of R ohms is given by .