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Matter and Energy

A Study of Matter and Energy in a System

In a closed system, matter is conserved and cycles within the system. Energy is conserved, but can enter and leave a closed system, thus flowing through the system. Through the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration, carbon molecules cycle between living and nonliving components. Through biological processes, carbon atoms are fixed into organic molecules that are rearranged into other organic molecules by organisms. Energy is transferred and transformed from solar to chemical energy during photosynthesis. Through the process of cellular respiration, chemical energy is transformed into kinetic and heat energy by living organisms. Because heat energy leaves the system, a continual input of solar energy is required to sustain the system. Using models, we can predict how changes in components affect the systems.

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