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What is matter? We know what matter is! It's all around us. Some of us might think that the smallest piece of matter is an atom. We are wrong. One of the smaller divisions of matter is an electron. Protons and neutrons are also smaller than an atom but are almost 1000 times bigger than an electron. There re many smaller sub-atomic particles such as quarks, neutrinos, and mesons but understanding these requires knowledge of pahysics. An atom is made up of electrons, protons and neutrons.

They are called sub-atomic particles. There are 118 known different types of atoms and they all have different numbers of each sub-atomic particle. For example hydrogen is made up of one proton, which is orbited by a single electron. It has no neutrons at all.

Matter is what is all around us. It makes up everything around us: you, me and even the air we are breathing. While the amount of matter present is vast it is made of very, very small particles. Each of these particles has some characteristics that are unique and some that are the same. All of the sub-atomic particles have what is known as "charge" (even though some have a net charge of zero) and they all have "spin". Charge is a very simple concept. It is just like magnets, a negative charge attracts a positive charge and visa versa. However a negative charge repels a negative charge and a positive charge repels a positive charge.

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