Understand What is Mass and Matter
An object composed of many smaller particles resembling each other known as its smallest unit is called an atom. The atoms containing subatomic particles like protons, neutrons and a cloud of electrons take up space and have some mass. These atoms with their subatomic particles are the matter present inside any object. To simplify, the matter is differentiated into various states that we observe regularly such as, solid, liquid and gaseous states.
The lesser-known states of matter are plasma, quark-gluon plasma, Bose-Einstein condensates and Fermionic condensates. Mass is more like a property of matter. It depends on the gravitational pull of the earth or the acceleration of force.
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Are Mass and Matter The Same Thing?
The two terms mass and matter are quite closely related, however, not interchangeable. Both terms have a significantly different definition which is not to be used interchangeably. The definition of matter is quite broad and a little vague as compared to mass. Matter includes all entities present on earth and its atmosphere that takes up some space and has a definite mass.
Mass, on the other hand, is the quantity present inside the matter. It is a defining property of matter. If anything you see is three-dimensional i.e. it occupies some space, then you can measure it to find its mass. Mass is the quantity of matter present in any physical entity.
The Difference Between Mass And Matter
There is plenty of difference between mass and matter. There are enough reasons why both terms should not be confused with each other.
Mass is a definite quantity present in an entity. It has scientific definitions and differentiations of its types. It is a quantitative property of matter that has methods of calculation.
In contrast, the matter is just the content of some physical substance in an entity present in any physical state. Compared to mass, matter sounds like a vague concept which is a defining characteristic of the material world.
The matter has its opposite called antimatter composed of antiparticles. However, there is no such opposite term for mass called anti-mass, which is yet another difference between matter and mass.
There is a definite unit for measuring mass. However, the exact matter content cannot be measured, it can only be measured in terms of weight (effect of gravitational pull), volume (the space occupied) and mass.
Mass has various forms like gravitational mass, inertial mass, active and passive mass, etc. The matter has various physical states like solid, liquid and gas.
Law of Conservation of Mass
The law of conservation of mass, primarily discovered by Antoine Lavoisier, states that in a chemical reaction, mass can neither be created nor destroyed. To put it elaborately, in any closed system where the exchange of energy or matter does not take place, mass remains constant. It remains the same in both the reactant and the product side of the chemical reaction, in an isolated system where the exchange of matter does not take place.
The mass conservation concept is widely used in chemistry, thermodynamics, etc. Hence, the law marked a significant step in laying the foundation for modern chemistry.
Law of Conservation of Matter
In various aspects, the law is similar to the law of conservation of mass. The law of conservation of matter states the total amount of matter in any substance remains the same before and after the reaction. The matter is composed of atoms that take part in a chemical reaction. According to the law, in a closed system, an equal number of atoms are present on both sides and they’re of the same type.