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When we mix cornstarch and water, we obtain a thick, viscous substance that can be seen and touched, occupying space in a container, like many other substances (materials). Matter is everything with mass and volume, and its properties, such as color, shape, and size, are ways we describe it.

Most properties of matter can be measured. When we measure, we use familiar and universally agreed-upon units. Scientists use globally agreed-upon measurement units. Each measurement unit has multiples and subunits. Some prefixes express multiples of the unit, like "kilo," meaning 1000, while others indicate subunits.

The length of an object is the number of measurement units from one end to the other, longitudinally, while the width is the number of units across the object. What is the width and length of this page?

Area indicates the number of squares covering a surface. Finding the area of a rectangular object is easy – just multiply its length by its width. For example, the area of a book page with a length of 27 cm and a width of 20 cm is 27 cm × 20 cm, or 540 square centimeters. What if the shape is not a rectangle? Divide it into smaller squares, estimate the area of non-square parts, and sum them up.

Mass is a property of matter measured in grams (g) or kilograms (kg) using a balance, as illustrated.

Volume describes the number of cubes that fill a space. To find the volume of a rectangular object, multiply its length by tools used for its width and height. For non-rectangular objects, volume can be measured using water displacement.

The relationship between mass and volume is known as density. Mass is the quantity of matter occupying a space, and density is the mass per unit volume. To find density, divide mass by volume. If mass is in grams (g) and volume in cubic centimeters (cm³), the result is in grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm³).

Objects float or sink depending on the density of the liquid or gas they are placed in. Buoyancy is the force exerted by a fluid that pushes upward on an object. If the object's density is less than the fluid's, it floats; otherwise, it sinks.

The connection between mass and volume is density. Mass remains constant everywhere, while weight varies on different planets. The force of gravity depends on an object's mass; hence, a larger object experiences a greater gravitational force and has a higher weight.

Weight is another way to measure matter, evaluating the gravitational force between an object and a planet like Earth. Weight and mass are distinct, as mass is the amount of substance, and weight measures gravitational pull.

Understanding the properties of matter and how to measure them plays a vital role in interacting with the world. Although concepts like mass, volume, density, and weight may seem complex, they help us comprehend the behavior of substances and their interactions with the environment. Utilizing universally agreed-upon units and engaging with materials around us, we learn to interpret the world scientifically. Through this journey into measurements and properties, we grasp the importance of science and technology in enhancing our understanding of nature and its applications in our daily lives.

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