Matter

Hydrogen's purple glow in its plasma state, the most abundant in the universe
Under the "quarks and leptons" definition, the elementary and composite particles made of the quarks (in purple) and leptons (in green) would be matter—while the gauge bosons (in red) would not be matter. However, interaction energy inherent to composite particles (for example, gluons involved in neutrons and protons) contribute to the mass of ordinary matter.
Quark structure of a proton: 2 up quarks and 1 down quark.
A comparison between the white dwarf IK Pegasi B (center), its A-class companion IK Pegasi A (left) and the Sun (right). This white dwarf has a surface temperature of 35,500 K.
Phase diagram for a typical substance at a fixed volume. Vertical axis is Pressure, horizontal axis is Temperature. The green line marks the freezing point (above the green line is solid, below it is liquid) and the blue line the boiling point (above it is liquid and below it is gas). So, for example, at higher T, a higher P is necessary to maintain the substance in liquid phase. At the triple point the three phases; liquid, gas and solid; can coexist. Above the critical point there is no detectable difference between the phases. The dotted line shows the anomalous behavior of water: ice melts at constant temperature with increasing pressure.
Galaxy rotation curve for the Milky Way. Vertical axis is speed of rotation about the galactic center. Horizontal axis is distance from the galactic center. The sun is marked with a yellow ball. The observed curve of speed of rotation is blue. The predicted curve based upon stellar mass and gas in the Milky Way is red. The difference is due to dark matter or perhaps a modification of the law of gravity. Scatter in observations is indicated roughly by gray bars.

Any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume.

- Matter
Hydrogen's purple glow in its plasma state, the most abundant in the universe

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A crystalline solid: atomic resolution image of strontium titanate. Brighter atoms are strontium and darker ones are titanium.

State of matter

A crystalline solid: atomic resolution image of strontium titanate. Brighter atoms are strontium and darker ones are titanium.
Structure of a classical monatomic liquid. Atoms have many nearest neighbors in contact, yet no long-range order is present.
The spaces between gas molecules are very big. Gas molecules have very weak or no bonds at all. The molecules in "gas" can move freely and fast.
In a plasma, electrons are ripped away from their nuclei, forming an electron "sea". This gives it the ability to conduct electricity.
SBS block copolymer in TEM
Liquid helium in a superfluid phase creeps up on the walls of the cup in a Rollin film, eventually dripping out from the cup.
Velocity in a gas of rubidium as it is cooled: the starting material is on the left, and Bose–Einstein condensate is on the right.

In physics, a state of matter is one of the distinct forms in which matter can exist.

Artist's rendition of the Earth's plasma fountain, showing oxygen, helium, and hydrogen ions that gush into space from regions near the Earth's poles. The faint yellow area shown above the north pole represents gas lost from Earth into space; the green area is the aurora borealis, where plasma energy pours back into the atmosphere.

Plasma (physics)

One of the four fundamental states of matter.

One of the four fundamental states of matter.

Artist's rendition of the Earth's plasma fountain, showing oxygen, helium, and hydrogen ions that gush into space from regions near the Earth's poles. The faint yellow area shown above the north pole represents gas lost from Earth into space; the green area is the aurora borealis, where plasma energy pours back into the atmosphere.
Lightning as an example of plasma present at Earth's surface:
Typically, lightning discharges 30 kiloamperes at up to 100 megavolts, and emits radio waves, light, X- and even gamma rays. Plasma temperatures can approach 30000 K and electron densities may exceed 1024 m−3.
The complex self-constricting magnetic field lines and current paths in a field-aligned Birkeland current that can develop in a plasma.
Artificial plasma produced in air by a Jacob's Ladder
Cascade process of ionization. Electrons are "e−", neutral atoms "o", and cations "+".
Avalanche effect between two electrodes. The original ionization event liberates one electron, and each subsequent collision liberates a further electron, so two electrons emerge from each collision: the ionizing electron and the liberated electron.
Hall effect thruster. The electric field in a plasma double layer is so effective at accelerating ions that electric fields are used in ion drives.
Plasma spraying
Tokamak plasma in nuclear fusion research
Argon Plasma in the Hawkeye Linearly Magnetized Experiment (HLMX) at the University of Iowa

It is the most abundant form of ordinary matter in the universe, being mostly associated with stars, including the Sun.

An oil painting of a chemist (Ana Kansky, painted by Henrika Šantel in 1932)

Chemistry

An oil painting of a chemist (Ana Kansky, painted by Henrika Šantel in 1932)
Laboratory, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Cologne in Germany.
Solutions of substances in reagent bottles, including ammonium hydroxide and nitric acid, illuminated in different colors
A diagram of an atom based on the Bohr model
Standard form of the periodic table of chemical elements. The colors represent different categories of elements
Carbon dioxide (CO2), an example of a chemical compound
A ball-and-stick representation of the caffeine molecule (C8H10N4O2).
A 2-D structural formula of a benzene molecule (C6H6)
Diagram showing relationships among the phases and the terms used to describe phase changes.
An animation of the process of ionic bonding between sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl) to form sodium chloride, or common table salt. Ionic bonding involves one atom taking valence electrons from another (as opposed to sharing, which occurs in covalent bonding)
In the methane molecule (CH4), the carbon atom shares a pair of valence electrons with each of the four hydrogen atoms. Thus, the octet rule is satisfied for C-atom (it has eight electrons in its valence shell) and the duet rule is satisfied for the H-atoms (they have two electrons in their valence shells).
Emission spectrum of iron
During chemical reactions, bonds between atoms break and form, resulting in different substances with different properties. In a blast furnace, iron oxide, a compound, reacts with carbon monoxide to form iron, one of the chemical elements, and carbon dioxide.
The crystal lattice structure of potassium chloride (KCl), a salt which is formed due to the attraction of K+ cations and Cl− anions. Note how the overall charge of the ionic compound is zero.
Hydrogen bromide exists in the gas phase as a diatomic molecule
Democritus' atomist philosophy was later adopted by Epicurus (341–270 BCE).
15th-century artistic impression of Jābir ibn Hayyān (Geber), a Perso-Arab alchemist and pioneer in organic chemistry.
Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier is considered the "Father of Modern Chemistry".
In his periodic table, Dmitri Mendeleev predicted the existence of 7 new elements, and placed all 60 elements known at the time in their correct places.
Top: Expected results: alpha particles passing through the plum pudding model of the atom undisturbed. 
Bottom: Observed results: a small portion of the particles were deflected, indicating a small, concentrated charge.

Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter.

Photons are emitted by a cyan laser beam outside, orange laser beam inside calcite and its fluorescence

Photon

Elementary particle that is a quantum of the electromagnetic field, including electromagnetic radiation such as light and radio waves, and the force carrier for the electromagnetic force.

Elementary particle that is a quantum of the electromagnetic field, including electromagnetic radiation such as light and radio waves, and the force carrier for the electromagnetic force.

Photons are emitted by a cyan laser beam outside, orange laser beam inside calcite and its fluorescence
Photoelectric effect: the emission of electrons from a metal plate caused by light quanta – photons.
The cone shows possible values of wave 4-vector of a photon. The "time" axis gives the angular frequency (rad⋅s−1) and the "space" axis represents the angular wavenumber (rad⋅m−1). Green and indigo represent left and right polarization
Thomas Young's double-slit experiment in 1801 showed that light can act as a wave, helping to invalidate early particle theories of light.
In 1900, Maxwell's theoretical model of light as oscillating electric and magnetic fields seemed complete. However, several observations could not be explained by any wave model of electromagnetic radiation, leading to the idea that light-energy was packaged into quanta described by . Later experiments showed that these light-quanta also carry momentum and, thus, can be considered particles: The photon concept was born, leading to a deeper understanding of the electric and magnetic fields themselves.
Up to 1923, most physicists were reluctant to accept that light itself was quantized. Instead, they tried to explain photon behaviour by quantizing only matter, as in the Bohr model of the hydrogen atom (shown here). Even though these semiclassical models were only a first approximation, they were accurate for simple systems and they led to quantum mechanics.
Photons in a Mach–Zehnder interferometer exhibit wave-like interference and particle-like detection at single-photon detectors.
Stimulated emission (in which photons "clone" themselves) was predicted by Einstein in his kinetic analysis, and led to the development of the laser. Einstein's derivation inspired further developments in the quantum treatment of light, which led to the statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Different electromagnetic modes (such as those depicted here) can be treated as independent simple harmonic oscillators. A photon corresponds to a unit of energy E = hν in its electromagnetic mode.

While trying to explain how matter and electromagnetic radiation could be in thermal equilibrium with one another, Planck proposed that the energy stored within a material object should be regarded as composed of an integer number of discrete, equal-sized parts.

A 2 kg cast iron weight used for balances

Mass

A 2 kg cast iron weight used for balances
The kilogram is one of the seven SI base units.
Depiction of early balance scales in the Papyrus of Hunefer (dated to the 19th dynasty, c. 1285 BCE). The scene shows Anubis weighing the heart of Hunefer.
Galileo Galilei (1636)
Distance traveled by a freely falling ball is proportional to the square of the elapsed time
Isaac Newton 1689
A cannon on top of a very high mountain shoots a cannonball horizontally. If the speed is low, the cannonball quickly falls back to Earth (A, B). At intermediate speeds, it will revolve around Earth along an elliptical orbit (C, D). Beyond the escape velocity, it will leave the Earth without returning (E).
An apple experiences gravitational fields directed towards every part of the Earth; however, the sum total of these many fields produces a single gravitational field directed towards the Earth's center
Vertical section drawing of Cavendish's torsion balance instrument including the building in which it was housed. The large balls were hung from a frame so they could be rotated into position next to the small balls by a pulley from outside. Figure 1 of Cavendish's paper.
Massmeter, a device for measuring the inertial mass of an astronaut in weightlessness. The mass is calculated via the oscillation period for a spring with the astronaut attached (Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics)

Mass is the quantity of matter in a physical body.

The Standard Model of particle physics, listing all elementary particles

Particle physics

The Standard Model of particle physics, listing all elementary particles
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, USA

Particle physics (also known as high energy physics) is a branch of physics that studies the nature of the particles that constitute matter and radiation.

Atoms and molecules as depicted in John Dalton's A New System of Chemical Philosophy vol. 1 (1808)

Atom

Atoms and molecules as depicted in John Dalton's A New System of Chemical Philosophy vol. 1 (1808)
The Geiger–Marsden experiment:
Left: Expected results: alpha particles passing through the plum pudding model of the atom with negligible deflection.
Right: Observed results: a small portion of the particles were deflected by the concentrated positive charge of the nucleus.
The Bohr model of the atom, with an electron making instantaneous "quantum leaps" from one orbit to another with gain or loss of energy. This model of electrons in orbits is obsolete.
The binding energy needed for a nucleon to escape the nucleus, for various isotopes
A potential well, showing, according to classical mechanics, the minimum energy V(x) needed to reach each position x. Classically, a particle with energy E is constrained to a range of positions between x1 and x2.
3D views of some hydrogen-like atomic orbitals showing probability density and phase (g orbitals and higher are not shown)
This diagram shows the half-life (T½) of various isotopes with Z protons and N neutrons.
These electron's energy levels (not to scale) are sufficient for ground states of atoms up to cadmium (5s2 4d10) inclusively. Do not forget that even the top of the diagram is lower than an unbound electron state.
An example of absorption lines in a spectrum
Graphic illustrating the formation of a Bose–Einstein condensate
Scanning tunneling microscope image showing the individual atoms making up this gold (100) surface. The surface atoms deviate from the bulk crystal structure and arrange in columns several atoms wide with pits between them (See surface reconstruction).
Periodic table showing the origin of each element. Elements from carbon up to sulfur may be made in small stars by the alpha process. Elements beyond iron are made in large stars with slow neutron capture (s-process). Elements heavier than iron may be made in neutron star mergers or supernovae after the r-process.

An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter that forms a chemical element.

The Standard Model of particle physics, listing all elementary particles

Elementary particle

Elementary particle or fundamental particle is a subatomic particle that is not composed of other particles.

Elementary particle or fundamental particle is a subatomic particle that is not composed of other particles.

The Standard Model of particle physics, listing all elementary particles

Particles currently thought to be elementary include the fundamental fermions (quarks, leptons, antiquarks, and antileptons), which generally are "matter particles" and "antimatter particles", as well as the fundamental bosons (gauge bosons and the Higgs boson), which generally are "force particles" that mediate interactions among fermions.

A proton is composed of two up quarks, one down quark, and the gluons that mediate the forces "binding" them together. The color assignment of individual quarks is arbitrary, but all three colors must be present; red, blue and green are used as an analogy to the primary colors that together produce a white color.

Quark

A proton is composed of two up quarks, one down quark, and the gluons that mediate the forces "binding" them together. The color assignment of individual quarks is arbitrary, but all three colors must be present; red, blue and green are used as an analogy to the primary colors that together produce a white color.
Six of the particles in the Standard Model are quarks (shown in purple). Each of the first three columns forms a generation of matter.
Murray Gell-Mann (2007)
George Zweig (2015)
Photograph of the event that led to the discovery of the baryon, at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1974
Feynman diagram of beta decay with time flowing upwards. The CKM matrix (discussed below) encodes the probability of this and other quark decays.
The strengths of the weak interactions between the six quarks. The "intensities" of the lines are determined by the elements of the CKM matrix.
All types of hadrons have zero total color charge.
The pattern of strong charges for the three colors of quark, three antiquarks, and eight gluons (with two of zero charge overlapping).
Current quark masses for all six flavors in comparison, as balls of proportional volumes. Proton (gray) and electron (red) are shown in bottom left corner for scale.
A qualitative rendering of the phase diagram of quark matter. The precise details of the diagram are the subject of ongoing research.

A quark is a type of elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter.

Various examples of physical phenomena

Physics

Various examples of physical phenomena
Ancient Egyptian astronomy is evident in monuments like the ceiling of Senemut's tomb from the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt.
Ibn al-Haytham (c. 965–c. 1040), Book of Optics Book I, [6.85], [6.86]. Book II, [3.80] describes his camera obscura experiments.
The basic way a pinhole camera works
Galileo Galilei showed a modern appreciation for the proper relationship between mathematics, theoretical physics, and experimental physics.
Sir Isaac Newton (1643–1727), whose laws of motion and universal gravitation were major milestones in classical physics
Max Planck (1858–1947), the originator of the theory of quantum mechanics
Albert Einstein (1879–1955), whose work on the photoelectric effect and the theory of relativity led to a revolution in 20th century physics
The basic domains of physics
Solvay Conference of 1927, with prominent physicists such as Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Max Planck, Hendrik Lorentz, Niels Bohr, Marie Curie, Erwin Schrödinger and Paul Dirac
This parabola-shaped lava flow illustrates the application of mathematics in physics—in this case, Galileo's law of falling bodies.
Mathematics and ontology are used in physics. Physics is used in chemistry and cosmology.
The distinction between mathematics and physics is clear-cut, but not always obvious, especially in mathematical physics.
Classical physics implemented in an acoustic engineering model of sound reflecting from an acoustic diffuser
Archimedes' screw, a simple machine for lifting
Experiment using a laser
The astronaut and Earth are both in free fall.
Lightning is an electric current.
Physics involves modeling the natural world with theory, usually quantitative. Here, the path of a particle is modeled with the mathematics of calculus to explain its behavior: the purview of the branch of physics known as mechanics.
A simulated event in the CMS detector of the Large Hadron Collider, featuring a possible appearance of the Higgs boson.
Velocity-distribution data of a gas of rubidium atoms, confirming the discovery of a new phase of matter, the Bose–Einstein condensate
The deepest visible-light image of the universe, the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field
Feynman diagram signed by R. P. Feynman.
A typical phenomenon described by physics: a magnet levitating above a superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect.

Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related entities of energy and force.