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.


When the two terminals of a battery are connected by a conductor, an electric current flows through the conductor. One terminal continuously sends electrons into the conductor, while the other continuously receives electrons from it. The current flow is caused by the voltage, or potential difference, between the terminals. The more willing the terminals are to give up and receive electrons, the higher the voltage. Voltage is measured in units called volts. Another name for a voltage produced by a source of electric current is electromotive force.