Properties of Matter


Malleability - The ability to be hammered into thin sheets or pulled into long, thin wires.

Conductivity - The ability to pass energy (electrical, heat, or sound) along from one particle to another.

Insulator - Matter that is unable to conduct much electrical, heat, or sound energy.

Combustibility - The ability to burn.

Physical change - A change in state, shape, or size without the formation of a new substance.

Mixture - Two or more parts blended together yet keeping their own properties and not turning into a new substance.

Filter - A tool used to separate things by size.

Solution - A mixture in which substances are completely blended so that the properties are the same throughout.

Solubility - A measure of the amount of material that will dissolve in another material.

Chemical change - A change that occurs when atoms link together in new ways, brought about by a chemical reaction.


Examples of physical properties are: color, smell, freezing point, boiling point, melting point, infra-red spectrum, attraction (paramagnetic) or repulsion (diamagnetic) to magnets, opacity, viscosity and density. There are many more examples. Note that measuring each of these properties will not alter the basic nature of the substance.

Examples of chemical properties are: heat of combustion, reactivity with water, PH, and electromotive force.
The more properties we can identify for a substance, the better we know the nature of that substance. These properties can then help us model the substance and thus understand how this substance will behave under various conditions.

1. What is the difference in physical and chemical changes?

2. Distinguish between homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures.

3. Distinguish between chemical and physical properties.

4. Pure substances can be and .