MATTER IN OUR SURROUNDINGS


As we look at our surroundings, we see a large
variety of things with different shapes, sizes
and textures. Everything in this universe is
made up of material which scientists have
named “matter”. The air we breathe, the food
we eat, stones, clouds, stars, plants and
animals, even a small drop of water or a
particle of sand– each thing is matter. We can
also see as we look around that all the things
mentioned above occupy space, that is,
volume* and have mass.
Since early times, human beings have
been trying to understand their surroundings.
Early Indian philosophers classified matter in
the form of five basic elements – the
“Panch Tatva”– air, earth, fire, sky and water.
According to them everything, living or nonliving,
was made up of these five basic
elements. Ancient Greek philosophers had
arrived at a similar classification of matter.
Modern day scientists have evolved two
types of classification of matter based on their
physical properties and chemical nature