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.

Solar Energy Storage Devices

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Because of the intermittent nature of solar radiation as an energy source, excess solar energy produced during sunny periods must be stored. Insulated tanks commonly store this energy in hot water. Batteries often store excess electric energy produced from wind or photovoltaic devices. One possibility for the future is the use of excess solar-generated electric energy as a supplemental source for existing power networks. Uncertain economics and reliability, however, make this plan difficult to implement.