What Is Matter Made Of?

Suppose you are holding a tiny grain of salt from your kitchen. You drop the salt on the floor. Can you find it again? It is hard to see just one little grain of salt. But suppose you spilled a whole box of salt. It would be easy to see, and your mom would tell you to clean up your mess.

Matter is made of tiny little particles, too. The particles that make up matter are called atoms. You cannot see atoms because they are so small. Lots of atoms join together to make up matter that you can see.

Scientists know about many kinds of atoms. These atoms can join together in different ways to make different kinds of matter. Some matter has only one kind of atom. This is called an element. An element is a substance that is made of only one type of atom. Gold is an element. Many atoms of gold join together to make gold you can see. All the atoms of gold are the same.

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