Properties of Bulk Matter

Introduction: Bulk matter is the matter as a whole, the macroscopic body. Any matter, we can think of, in any form (solid, liquid or gas), can be distinguished from another when we study their bulk properties. Matter can be soft, matter can be hard, we touch them, hold them, stretch them, twist them, squeeze them if we can, set them roll, let them flow and so on and thus we develop an idea of how they behave as a whole. The behaviours or properties, in general, are the results of internal molecular arrangements and interactions among them. But it is not necessary to consider that internal picture when we go on to explain or predict how a bulk matter would respond to external disturbances (any kind of force or supply of energy). Primarily, experiments and experiences lead us to conclude how a matter would behave this way or that way. Theoretical considerations with the application of mathematics only refine our understanding and allow precise calculations. It may be noted that Newton’s laws of motion are at the heart of all mechanical properties. All sorts of specialties, ideas and useful formulas can be constructed right from there. For thermal properties, it is useful to think in terms of conservation of energy. Heat is energy. The effect of addition or subtraction of heat disturb the molecular arrangements inside and can show up changes in mechanical properties of a body as we will see. Of course, our knowledge of Thermodynamics can help us to have more profound understanding of the physics of matter in response to heat. So, in short, we study the bulk properties of matter that is the behaviour of the entire body in response to force and that due to heat energy.

Dr. Abhijit Kar Gupta, kg.abhi@gmail.com

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