Matter vs Energy: Difference and Comparison

Matter and energy make the universe. Both matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed but can be used in different forms.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Matter consists of particles with mass, while energy is the capacity to do work or transfer heat.
  2. Matter can be classified into states such as solid, liquid, and gas, while energy has various forms, including kinetic and potential.
  3. Matter can change states, but energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only converted between forms.

Matter vs Energy

In physics, matter is a substance with mass and occupies space. It is made of small particles called atoms. Matter exists in different states, such as solid, liquid or gas. Energy is the ability to perform work. In energy, a measurable property is transferred to matter, which is then used to do some work. It does not have mass or volume.

Matter vs Energy

All the physical forms of matter are called states of matter. The states of matter are further subdivided into solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.

Energy exerts a force that makes the substance or object move. It can be transferred from one form into another which makes people execute tasks.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMatterEnergy
DefinitionThe matter has mass and occupies spaceThe ability to do work
FormsSolid, Liquid, Gas, and PlasmaKinetic Energy, Potential Energy, Chemical Energy, Thermal energy, Mechanical Energy, Internal Energy, Conservation Energy, Thermal Energy, Bond Energy, etc
PropertyMatter has massEnergy does not have mass
CharacteristicMatter takes up space called volumeEnergy does not take up space
S.I  UnitMatter does not have an SI unitThe SI unit of energy is joules

What is Matter?

The term matter is described as anything that occupies space and has some mass. The matter has been divided into two types, that are atoms and molecules.

The physical forms of matter are called states of matter. The states of matter are subdivided into three states, namely, solid, liquid, and gas.

A state of matter is used to describe the behaviour of atoms and molecules in a substance. Solid is one of the states of matter where the molecules are held by stronger bonds.

Examples include the metal bowls. In liquids, the molecules are weaker than the solids—for example, coffee, water, tea, juices, etc. Gases can be differentiated by low density and viscosity.

Plasma which is also one of the states of matter consists of atoms or molecules following the conditions of temperature and pressure.


 What is Energy?

Energy is the force employed or the ability to perform multiple tasks. For instance, if a person is throwing a ball, he is transferring that energy to the ball, and the ball will fly in the air.

An example of this is if a person is moving some object, that person is doing some work, and that will lead to transferring of his energy to the object so that it can move. Some of them are 

  • Kinetic energy
  • Chemical energy
  • Bond energy
  • Thermal energy
  • Mechanical energy
  • Conservation energy, etc

Kinetic energy is defined as the energy an object possesses due to motion. The moving object always has kinetic energy. The density of the object is an indicator of kinetic energy.


 Main Differences Between Matter and Energy

  1. The matter is converted from carbon dioxide and water into glucose, whereas energy is converted from light energy to chemical energy.
  2. The matter has been further divided into atoms and molecules. The molecules are broken down and converted into other molecules as part of growth and biomass allocation.
Difference Between Matter and Energy

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