levels of organization of matter



We explain what are the levels of organization of the subject, the ways in which it can be divided and its main characteristics.

Matter has a finite number of atoms with an extremely complex organization.

What are the levels of organization of matter?

When we speak of the levels of organization of matter, we refer to the possible divisions or stratifications in which it is possible to study the entire matter known, especially organic (living beings), going from a more general and simple perspective to a more detailed one with increasingly complex relationships.

While all the matter in the universe is formed by a finite number of atomsThese are combined and organized in such a complex way that the fundamental building blocks that constitute it can be lost sight of. Therefore, layers or levels of organization can be identified depending on the dimensions of the study system.

For example, a human being is made of atoms, undoubtedly the same kind that a human being is made of. planet (Let's agree that there will be many more atoms on the planet, given its dimensions), but organized in a different way. The same happens between a human being and one cellsince a person contains millions of cells.

The matter is organized in levels of complexity that we can state separately. These are, from smallest to largest:

  • Subatomic level. Thanks to atomic physics, we know that atoms are made up of particles smaller, which are protons (with load +), neutrons (no load) and electrons (with load -). The first two are in the nucleus of the atom and the last two orbit around it.
  • Atomic level. The fundamental building blocks of matter are atoms, the classification of which appears in the Periodic table of the elements. 118 are known so far and it is known that everything that exists is made from combinations of these atoms. Two atoms of the same element will always be identical, so the hydrogen atoms in our body, for example, are the same as those of the Sun.
  • Molecular level. Atoms join each other for various reasons that respond to the effects of electromagnetism or from chemical links for Valencia (to share electrons from the outermost shell). This is how molecules are formed, which can be as simple as two identical atoms (O2, the molecule oxygen) or be made up of several different atoms (C6H12O6, the glucose molecule). These molecules can form increasingly complex structures, such as amino acids and then protein, fundamental for life.
  • Cellular level. A cell is the smallest unit of the life: all living beings are made up of at least one cell (some of only one of them, called unicellular; others of more than one, called multicellular). Cell walls, enzymes inside her, the DNA, everything is made up of extremely complex molecules.
  • Tissue or tissue level. According to their functions and needs, cells are grouped together in a complex system that is the organism. For example, the cells of a muscle all fulfill the same function and share their physical characteristics. This grouping of common cells is called tissue (eg, muscle tissue, vascular tissue, nerve tissue).
  • Organ level. The organs of the body of a living being are made up of tissues. Thus, the heart is made up of cardiac tissue, the liver of liver tissue, etc.
  • System or appliance level. The different organs and tissues of the body cooperate, help each other, or work together. The circuits of organs and tissues that carry out specific functions (fundamental for the organism) are known as a system or apparatus, such as the cardiovascular system, which includes the organs involved in circulation and blood flow. breathing.
  • Organism level. The total of the organs, tissues and cells of a living being compose it, and define it as an individual, that is, an organism. Each living being is unique, although similar to others.
  • Population level. Organisms with similar characteristics tend to come together to reproduce, take care of each other and share the way of life, in small groups or populations.
  • Level of species. If we put together all the existing populations of organisms of the same type (which share physical and genetic characteristics), we would have the total of that species on the planet. There are millions of species of living things in the Earth.
  • Level of ecosystem. Populations and species do not live apart from others, but interconnect with them through Trophic chains (food) in which there are producers, herbivores, predators carnivores and decomposers. To a circuit of species thus interconnected and located in a habitat specific we will call it an ecosystem.
  • Level of biome. The groupings of ecosystems around the same weather or geographic region constitute biomes.
  • Level of biosphere. The biosphere is called the ordered set of all living beings, the inert matter and the physical environment in which they find themselves and with which they relate in different ways.
  • Planetary level. Although life as we know it exists only on Earth, until now, this is just one more than millions of planets of different size and constitution, orbiting even more massive suns and in eternal fusion of their atomic elements in space.
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