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Oobleck! No, that’s not an exclamation of disgust; it’s a type of colloidal suspension described in Matter. Kids will get an in-depth look at matter’s many mixed-up forms, including alloys and emulsions, and examine its four possible states: solid, liquid, gas and plasma. But just what is (the) matter? For kids, this issue pins down matter’s complex composition, starting with an explanation of how it exists in every object in existence, even the lowliest speck of dust. After that, they’ll move through a survey of how mass, weight, volume and density define every bit of stuff in the universe.
Come on! Take a spin through a supernova – where matter begins – and read about how changes in the state of matter explain why ice cream melts, why glass is clear and even how cotton candy is made. The complicated topic of physical vs. chemical changes in matter, for kids, is simplified to show how heat, color and smell can alert you that matter is changing forms. They’ll see how putting matter to work in weird ways – like in “smart” buildings that can use a special fluid that moves easily between solid and liquid to absorb the force of an earthquake – may sound like way-out-there ideas, but when it comes to the versatility of matter, the sky is really the limit.