The Materials reference article from the Simple Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Materials are elements, compounds or mixtures that make up things. If you play basketball, the ball you use is made up mostly of the material known as rubber. You breathe in air that is made up of a mixture of compounds and elements, such as nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, water, helium and many others. If you get thirsty after your game, you can cool down with a drink of the compound: water. The towel you rub down with is probably going to be made up of the compound: cellulose or cotton. All these things are materials.

Some important materials