Matter is, of course, made up of atoms, which are made up of protons, electrons, and neutrons, which are made up of quarks, and there are various theories that describe what quarks are made out of. However, every smaller particle we come up with has to be made up of smaller particles, which have to be made up of smaller particles, which have to be made up of smaller particles, ad infinitum. So what is matter at its very core?
One hypothesis I have heard suggests that substance is made up of the eternally vibrating sound waves of God’s voice when he spoke the universe into existence. While I may or may not agree with that hypothesis, I do think that matter is made up of vibrations in the fabric of space-time. To illustrate this, I will refer to my gravity shield explanation, where I posited that when you have a “cliff” in the space-time continuum, it creates a force field. Vibrations are very small, fast movements, so you wouldn’t have the distance or time to have very much of a slope, resulting in tiny cliffs.
If matter is made up of vibrations in the space-time continuum, that would mean matter is kinetic energy in its purest sense (movement of space and time). In other words, the relation between matter and energy that scientists have been looking for to explain atomic fission and fusion is that matter is energy in its purest sense. This would explain why light is attracted by gravity, and why light acts like both a particle and a wave: light is made up of energy, which is the same thing matter is made up out of, therefore light reacts the same way to gravity as matter does. Gravity is not acting on mass, but energy.
So why can electromagnetic force move matter? If matter is made up of kinetic energy, then, because electromagnetic force is (according to current theory) caused by the exchange of photons, and photons are little packets of energy, the energy from the photons can disrupt the kinetic energy, causing the matter it makes up to move.
This has interesting implications for some views. For instance, this would mean that photons are not strictly electromagnetic disturbances, but tiny, moving gravity wells. I said “strictly” because this idea would mean that gravity and electromagnetic force are actually the same force, just exerted differently, so when I said photons are not strictly electromagnetic disturbances, I guess what I was really saying was that the electromagnetic force is technically the same as the gravitational force.
Now, when you touch something, you don’t actually touch it. The electron shells on your atoms approach the electron shells on the atoms of the thing you are “touching,” but when they get close enough, the charges are too great to overcome any longer, and you get no closer. It is kind of like when you try to force like poles of magnets towards each other, but on a much greater (though submicroscopic) scale.
So this brings up an interesting question. What happens when matter actually touches? I don’t have a solid answer to this, but my knee jerk reaction would be that the matter would actually meld, like two drops of water colliding in a zero-G environment.