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Matter is the general term for all physical substances. It consists at the basic level from charged subatomic particles. There is also a variant of matter where the particles have the same mass and configuration, but an opposite charge: antimatter. These variants react heavily with each other, canceling each other out in a matter-antimatter reaction. This kind of reaction is widely used to propel starships.

Matter exists in four fundamental states that exhibit differing physical properties.

  • Solid. Solids exhibit strong intermolecular bonds that maintain a fixed shape and volume.
  • Liquid. The intermolecular bonds in a liquid are partially counteracted by the average thermal energy of the individual atoms in the substance, thereby giving the liquid its fluidic properties.
  • Gas. In a gas, the bonds are completely overcome by thermal energy.
  • Plasma. In a plasma, the thermal energy is so high that most of the atoms break apart and ionize into free electrons and cations.

Both matter and antimatter can exist in these phases.