Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter

It is called matter to everything that has mass and exists in space. All known bodies constitute matter and, therefore, there is an almost infinite multiplicity of sizes, shapes, textures and colors.

Matter can be presented in three states: solid, liquid or gaseous. The state of matter is defined by the type of union that the atoms or molecules that compose it have.

Is named properties of matter to their general or specific characteristics. The general ones are those that are common to all forms of matter. The specific characteristics, on the other hand, differentiate one body from another and are related to the different substances that make up bodies. Specific properties are grouped into physical and chemical properties.

Physical properties

The physical properties of matter are observed or measured without requiring any knowledge of the reactivity or chemical behavior of the substance, without altering its composition or chemical nature.

Changes in the physical properties of a system describe its transformations and its evolution temporary between instantaneous states. There are some characteristics that cannot be clearly determined if they correspond to properties or not, such as color: it can be seen and measured, but what each person perceives is a particular interpretation.

These properties based on real physical events but subject to secondary aspects are called supervening. Excluding them, the following list gives some examples of physical properties of matter.

  • Elasticity. Ability of bodies to deform when a force is applied and then regain their original shape.
  • Melting point. Temperature point at which the body passes from a liquid to a solid state.
  • Conductibility. Property of some substances to conduct electricity and heat.
  • Temperature. Measurement of degree of thermal agitation of particles in the body.
  • Solubility. The ability of substances to dissolve.
  • Fragility. Property of certain bodies to break without previously deforming.
  • Hardness. Resistance that a material opposes when being scratched.
  • Texture. Capacity determined by touch, which expresses the disposition in space of the body’s particles.
  • Ductility. Property of materials with which you can make threads and wires.
  • Boiling point. Temperature point at which the body goes from a liquid to a gaseous state.

Chemical properties

The chemical properties of matter are those that make the change of composition of matter. The exposure of any matter to a series of reactants or particular conditions can generate a chemical reaction in the matter and change its structure.

Some examples of chemical properties of matter are exemplified and explained below:

  • Ph. Chemical property used to measure the acidity of a substance or solution.
  • Combustion. Rapid oxidation, which occurs with the release of heat and light.
  • Oxidation state. Degree of oxidation of an atom.
  • Calorific power. Amount of energy that is released when a chemical reaction occurs.
  • Chemical stability. Ability of a substance to avoid reacting with others.
  • Alkalinity. Ability of a substance to neutralize acids.
  • Corrosiveness. Degree of corrosion that a substance can cause.
  • Inflammability. Ability of a substance to initiate combustion when heat is applied to it at a sufficient temperature.
  • Reactivity. Ability of a substance to react in the presence of others.
  • Ionization potential. Energy needed to separate an electron from an atom.