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Difference Between Physical and Chemical Properties

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Last updated date: 02nd Mar 2024
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Physical and Chemical Properties

All the substances that you see around you have some of the other properties. 


Depending on those properties and characteristics of the substance, you can divide it into two parts. Typically, substances get classified depending on their physical and chemical properties. A chemical property gets established by changing the chemical composition of the substance. 


But, physical property is the one that gets determined without any change in the chemical composition of the substance. As physical and chemical properties are crucial when it comes to studying substances, you must also learn the difference between physical and chemical properties. It can help you get a broader understanding of the subject, so read this article until the end. 


An Introduction to Physical and Chemical Properties 

The physical properties of a substance do not change based on the surrounding conditions and the chemical composition. But, the chemical properties of a substance change as soon as it gets combined with another substance. The physical properties can be observed without changing or modifying the chemical structure of the substance. On the contrary, you cannot observe the physical properties of a substance without changing or modifying its chemical composition.


There are various physical properties that you can observe in a substance such as melting point, boiling point, density, and hardness. On the other hand, there are various chemical properties such as ionization energy and electron affinity. 


While differentiating between the two types of properties, it is important to note that when changes occur in the physical properties, they do not affect the composition of the substance. However, when you come across any changes in the chemical properties, they do affect the composition of a substance. In addition to this, what makes physical and chemical properties different from each other is that only the former can be observed by using various sensory organs such as smell, taste, or touch. On the other hand, you cannot observe the latter by using such sensory organs.


What are Physical Properties?

Physical properties are the ones that can get measured without altering the chemical composition of the matter. You can describe the appearance and dimension of the matter using a physical property. Regardless of the method of measurement used, the chemical and molecular composition of the matter stays the same. 


Therefore, any property that can get measured or detected without conducting a chemical reaction is a physical property. Further, physical properties get classified into two types – intensive properties and extensive properties. 


An intensive property does not rely on the amount of substance. Properties related to the appearance of the substance are intensive properties. For instance, colour is an intensive property as it stays unaffected by the amount of substance. Similarly, the melting point and boiling point of a substance, density are examples of an intensive property.   


And extensive property relies on the amount of substance. It means that extensive property changes when you change the amount of substance. For instance, mass is an extensive property as it depends on the amount of substance to get measured. Likewise, volume, length, and other dimensions that get changed when the amount of matter gets changed are extensive properties.


What are Chemical Properties?

A definition of a chemical property is that measuring the property causes a change in the chemical structure of the substance. A chemical property of a substance becomes apparent upon chemical change or reaction in the substance. Also, a chemical property shows the ability of a substance to combine with other substances or transform into a different product. 


The chemical composition of a substance is moreover an identity of the substance; upon changing the chemical composition, the substance turns into a different substance. Chemical property can measure the changes a substance undergoes when it goes through a chemical reaction. And when the chemical reaction takes place, the matter transforms into an entirely different matter. 


A chemical property is any property that gets determined when a change takes place in the chemical identity of the substance. Some examples of chemical properties are – toxicity, the heat of combustion, reactivity, enthalpy of formation, oxidation states, radioactivity, etc.  


Conclusion

Physical and chemical properties just show the different characteristics of the substances. A physical property doesn’t alter or change the composition of a substance, it stays separate from any chemical reaction. However, a chemical property gets revealed by exposure to some other chemicals. Therefore, this is all about physical and chemical properties and how they differ from each other. To know more about the topic students can take help from Vedantu teachers they will be explained the complete topic with examples and support.

FAQs on Difference Between Physical and Chemical Properties

1. What are the types of physical properties?

As you know, physical properties are those which you can measure and observe, without altering the composition of the matter. Physical properties can either be intensive or extensive. 


1. Extensive: It depends on the amount of matter getting measured, such as mass, volume, and length. These properties are external, and you cannot identify the substance using extensive properties. For instance, you may measure 100g of oil or water, but that doesn’t help you identify the substance being oil or water.  


2. Intensive: It does not rely on the amount of matter getting measured, like, colour, viscosity, density, buoyancy, melting and freezing point. These properties are constant, and you can identify the substance using intensive properties. For example, the density of liquid water is 1g/ml, the freezing point is 0 0C, and the boiling point of is 1000C.

2. State some examples of physical and chemical properties.

Physical properties are those that can get measured and observed without bringing a chemical change. Examples of physical properties are – temperature, malleability, appearance, texture, odour, colour, shape, solubility, melting, freezing, and boiling point. Volume, mass, length, density, pressure, viscosity, and hardness are a few more physical properties. 

 

Chemical properties are those that get observed or measured when the substance undergoes a chemical change. Examples of chemical properties are – toxicity, chemical stability, the heat of combustion, flammability, reactivity, and enthalpy of formation. Further, buoyancy, viscosity, compressibility, radioactivity, oxidation state, and the ability to form chemical bonds are chemical properties too.

3. What are the examples of intensive properties?

Specific Heat Capacity, Melting Point, Boiling Point, Vapor Pressure, Heat of Vaporization, Heat of Fusion, Compressibility Factor, etc are examples of intensive properties.  Intensive properties are properties that are independent of the size or amount of matter being measured, meaning they are properties that do not depend on the sample or substance. One should keep in mind that mass is an important factor when dealing with intensive properties. Students should note that a substance's specific heat capacity is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram or 1 kilogram of a substance by one degree Celsius.

4. What all properties are considered chemical properties?

Some examples of chemical properties are – toxicity, the heat of combustion, reactivity, enthalpy of formation, oxidation states, radioactivity, etc. Chemical properties can measure the changes a substance undergoes when it goes through a chemical reaction. 

5. What is a physical property?

Physical properties are different measurements of matter. The 5 properties are: color, hardness, malleability, density, and conductivity.  A physical property of a substance doesn't cause a change in the chemical composition of the substance. Physical properties don't alter or change the chemical composition of a substance, it stays separate from any chemical reaction.

6. What is the difference between physical and chemical properties?

A physical property of a substance doesn't cause a change in the chemical composition of the substance. A physical property doesn't alter or change the chemical composition of a substance, it stays separate from any chemical reaction. Some common examples of physical properties are – pressure, state, melting point and boiling point. A chemical property can measure the changes a substance undergoes when it goes through a chemical reaction. And, when the chemical reaction takes place, the matter transforms. 

7. When studying chemistry, should you study physical or chemical properties?

You should study both because studying one over the other will not give you complete knowledge of the matter. Physical properties are aspects of matter that can be observed without changing the chemical identity of the substance. Chemical properties are observable changes in a substance. Physical properties are aspects of matter that can be observed without changing the chemical identity of the substance. 


Chemical properties can measure the changes a substance undergoes when it goes through a chemical reaction. And, when the chemical reaction takes place, the matter transforms and makes new substances. Chemical properties are observable changes in a substance.