of light, the charge of an electron, and the total mass plus energy in the universe. Changes might occur, for example, in properties of materials, position of objects, motion, and form and function of systems. Interactions within and among systems result in change. Changes vary in rate, scale, and pattern, including trends and cycles.
Energy can be transferred and matter can be changed. Nevertheless, when measured, the sum of energy and matter in systems, and by extension in the universe, remains the same.
Changes in systems can be quantified. Evidence for interactions and subsequent change and the formulation of scientific explanations are often clarified through quantitative distinctions—measurement. Mathematics is essential for accurately measuring change.
Different systems of measurement are used for different purposes. Scientists usually use the metric system. An important part of measurement is knowing when to use which system. For example, a meteorologist might use degrees Fahrenheit when reporting the weather to the public, but in writing scientific reports, the meteorologist would use degrees Celsius.
Scale includes understanding that different characteristics, properties, or relationships within a system might change as its dimensions are increased or decreased.
Rate involves comparing one measured quantity with another measured quantity, for example, 60 meters per second. Rate is also a measure of change for a part relative to the whole, for example, change in birth rate as part of population growth.