Tools Used to Measure Matter

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Matter is all around us and within us. Matter is the general term for all physical substances that occupy space and possess mass. Matter can have multiple dimensions or can be invisible to the naked eye. Different tools enable us to observe and record different types of matter and the different properties of the same matter. Familiarizing yourself with the different types of tools for matter and what qualities of matter they gauge can help you to get a better hold on matter.

Ruler/Tape Measure

Both of these tools measure the outside dimensions of matter. These measured dimensions can be used to calculate other properties of a specified matter. For example, if the matter in question is a box, then recording the width, length and height of the box can inform you of the volume of that box.


A scale can measure the weight of matter. Scales come in different sizes and varieties to measure different types of matter. Smaller objects can be weighed with an ordinary kitchen scale, and larger objects can be weighed with stationary scales that can measure tons of weight. Also, some scales are constructed to use the weights of different matters to help measure each other.


A thermometer measures the temperature of matter. Some thermometers work by penetrating the matter and registering its inner temperature, yet others work by measuring the temperature of air and the microscopic particles it contains. Thermometers' measurements can be classified by Fahrenheit, Celsius, or Kelvin scales.

Measuring Cups/Graduated Cylinder

These tools measure the volume of liquid matter. Measuring cups are used frequently in cooking and provide measurements generally in ounces and grams. A graduated cylinder is used in laboratories and in research and allows for a greater degree of precision in measuring the volume.


About the Author

Chance E. Gartneer began writing professionally in 2008 working in conjunction with FEMA. He has the unofficial record for the most undergraduate hours at the University of Texas at Austin. When not working on his children's book masterpiece, he writes educational pieces focusing on early mathematics and ESL topics.

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