By definition, everything that has mass and exists in space is called matter, its presence being perceptible through the senses. This is why all known bodies constitute matter, and therefore there is an almost infinite multiplicity of sizes, shapes, textures, and colors.
It’s called properties of matter to their specific characteristics. Some of these characteristics are common to all forms of matter and are therefore recognized as general properties. Others differ by the group and are known as particular properties.
Some, too, are different even within the same group for each of the substances that are part of it, considering specific properties. However, there is another fundamental classification regarding the properties of matter, linked to the type of character that each one of them comes to differentiate. It is the one that divides properties between physical and chemical properties.
Examples of 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 its chemical nature.
Changes in the physical properties of a system describe its transformations and its time evolution 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 facts but subject to secondary aspects are called supervenes. Excluding them, the following list exposes some examples of physical properties of matter.
- Texture: Capacity determined by touch, which expresses the arrangement in space of the body’s particles.
- Elasticity: The ability of bodies to deform when a force is applied, and then recover their original shape.
- Melting point: Temperature point at which, after descending from it, the body passes from the liquid to the solid-state.
- Boiling point: Temperature point at which, once exceeded, the body passes from the liquid to the gaseous state.
- Fragility: Property of certain bodies to break without being previously deformed.
- Hardness: Resistance that opposes a material to be scratched.
- Conductibility:Property of some substances to conduct electricity and heat.
- Ductility: Property of materials that can be made of threads and wires.
- Temperature: A measure of the degree of thermal agitation of body particles.
- Solubility: The ability of substances to dissolve.
Examples of Chemical properties
The chemical properties of matter are what change the composition of matter. Exposure of any matter to a series of reagents or of particular conditions can react and change its structure. These changes may be of greater or lesser danger, and a large number of laboratory tests are carried out to prevent eventual transformations linked to this.
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.
- Oxidation state: Degree by which an atom is oxidized.
- 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: The ability of a substance to neutralize acids.
- Corrosivity: Degree of corrosion that a substance can cause.
- Flammability: The ability of a substance to initiate combustion by applying heat at a sufficient temperature.
- Reactivity: Ability of a substance to react in the presence of others.
- Combustion: Rapid oxidation, which occurs with the release of heat and light.
- Ionization Potential: Energy required to separate an electron from an atom.