Some nice reading:
Sometimes, a class that you define represents an abstract concept and, as such, should not be instantiated. Take, for example, food in the real world. Have you ever seen an instance of food? No. What you see instead are instances of carrot, apple, and (our favorite) chocolate. Food represents the abstract concept of things that we all can eat. It doesn't make sense for an instance of food to exist.
Similarly in object-oriented programming, you may want to model an abstract concept without being able to create an instance of it. For example, the Number class in the java.lang package represents the abstract concept of numbers. It makes sense to model numbers in a program, but it doesn't make sense to create a generic number object. Instead, the Number class makes sense only as a superclass to classes like Integer and Float, both of which implement specific kinds of numbers. A class such as Number, which represents an abstract concept and should not be instantiated, is called an abstract class. An abstract class is a class that can only be subclassed-- it cannot be instantiated.