Is Electricity a Matter? (And Why?)

No, electricity is not considered a matter. It is a form of energy that results from the flow of charged particles, typically electrons, through a conductor. 1 While electricity can interact with matter and cause physical effects, it does not possess mass or occupy space like traditional matter.

Well, this was just a simple answer. But there are few more things to know about this topic which will make your concept super clear.

So let’s dive right into it.

Why is electricity not a matter?

Electricity is not a matter because it does not have mass or volume and cannot be weighed or measured as a physical substance. Instead, electricity is a form of energy resulting from the flow of charged particles, typically electrons, through a conductor.

Electricity is a phenomenon that arises from the movement of electrons in atoms or materials. 2 Electrons are elementary particles, which are components of atoms, and they carry electric charge.

When a flow of electrons occurs in a conductor, it creates an electric current, and this movement of charge is what we refer to as electricity. 

Unlike matter, which has mass and takes up space, 3 electricity is a manifestation of energy carried by these charged particles. It can perform work, produce light, heat, or mechanical motion, but it is not a tangible substance in the same way as matter.

This distinction between matter and energy is fundamental to understanding the nature of electricity and its role in various applications in our daily lives.

What are the differences between electricity and matter?

Here’s a table highlighting the key differences between electricity and matter:

CompositionFlow of charged particles (typically electrons) 4Made up of atoms and/or molecules 5
MassNo massHas mass
VolumeNo volumeOccupies space
MeasurabilityCannot be weighed or measured directlyCan be weighed or measured
Physical PropertiesElectric charge, current, voltage, resistanceVarious properties like density, hardness, etc.
StateNot in a specific state (e.g., solid, liquid, gas)Can exist in different states
InteractionCan interact with matter through electrical effects (e.g., electrical current passing through a conductor)Can interact with other matter through physical interactions (e.g., collisions, chemical reactions)
ConversionCan be converted into other forms of energy (e.g., light, heat)Can undergo phase changes or be converted into other states (e.g., solid to liquid) 6
ExamplesLightning, electric current in wiresWater, air, metals, wood, etc.

Further reading

Is Fire a Matter?
Why is Air a Matter?
Is Fire a Plasma?
Is Fire a Gas?
Is Fire an Element?

About author

Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. He is a founder of Pediabay and is passionate about helping students through his easily digestible explanations.

Read more about our Editorial process.


  1. Electric current – Wikipedia. (2011, December 22). Electric Current – Wikipedia.
  2. The science of electricity – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). (2023, July 17). The Science of Electricity – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
  3. Matter. (n.d.). Matter.
  5. Matter, elements, and atoms | Chemistry of life (article) | Khan Academy. (n.d.). Khan Academy.
  6. Phase change – Energy Education. (n.d.). Phase Change – Energy Education.

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