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.

How Electric Current is Conducted

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All electric currents consist of charges in motion. However, electric current is conducted differently in solids, gases, and liquids. When an electric current flows in a solid conductor, the flow is in one direction only, because the current is carried entirely by electrons. In liquids and gases, however, a two-directional flow is made possible by the process of ionization (see Electrochemistry).

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