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.


Calorie, metric unit of heat measurement. The small, or gram, calorie (cal) is usually specified in science and engineering as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 g of water from 14.5° to 15.5° C. The temperature interval is sometimes specified in other ways. The definition now generally accepted and standard in thermochemistry, is that 1 cal equals 4.1840 joules (J).

A slightly different calorie is used in engineering, the international calorie, which equals 1/860 international watt-hour (W h). A large calorie, or kilocalorie (Cal), usually referred to as a calorie and sometimes as a kilogram calorie, equals 1000 cal and is the unit used to express the energy-producing value of food in the calculation of diets.