Matter and Energy Facts

Matter is the substance of which all material is made. That means objects which have mass. Energy is used in science to describe how much potential a physical system has to change. In physics, energy is a property of matter. It can be transferred between objects, and converted in form. It cannot be created or destroyed. See the fact file below for more information about matter and energy.

  • Everything in the Universe is made up of matter and energy.
  • Matter is anything that has mass and occupies space.
  • Matter describes the physical things around us: the earth, the air you breathe, your pencil. Matter is made up of particles called atoms and molecules. Atoms are particles of elements – substances that cannot be broken down further.
  • There are currently 109 known elements, but obviously there are more than 109 different substances in the universe. This is because atoms of elements can combine with one another to form compounds.
  • There are 4 fundamental states of matter: solid, liquid, gas and plasma.
  • Energy is the ability to cause change or do work.
  • Some forms of energy include light, heat, chemical, nuclear, electrical energy and mechanical energy.
  • There are two main types of energy: potential and kinetic. Potential energy is energy that is stored, while kinetic energy is energy in use.
  • In order for electrical energy to flow, it must follow a complete path through a circuit.
  • Dark matter refers to material that can’t be detected by their emitted radiation but whose presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter, like stars and galaxies. Dark energy, or negative energy, is the energy found in space.

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