UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
Home
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Webcasts
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
Can you give me examples for chemical and physical properties and changes?
Answer 1:

That is a wonderful question that has so many applications! As you know, everything is made up of atoms and becomes what we call "matter". Depending on the arrangement of those atoms, different things will have different properties.

For example, if atoms or molecules are very far apart, the substance will typically be a gas. If the atoms are very tightly packed together, you will get a solid. If the distance is somewhere in between, then you will have a liquid.

This is an example of a physical property - which are the properties that you can measure without altering the thing you are dealing with. Mass, density, temperature, volume, and color are some examples of physical properties.

Chemical properties are the ones that give you information about how something behaves when they react with something else (i.e. during or after a chemical reaction). An example of this is heat of combustion, which is the amount of energy that is released when you burn something under a set of specific conditions.

You would not be able to measure the heat of combustion without going through a chemical reaction with the oxygen in the air first! This is what makes heat of combustion a chemical property.

By knowing the physical and chemical properties, you can select the best material for any application! If you want to build a bridge, you would pick a strong material that would be able to hold the weight of many cars and people and would also withstand the temperatures of the city in which you are building it.

These are things that many scientists (especially chemists and materials scientists) work with everyday!


Answer 2:

Sure. I'll use water, which is one of our favorite chemicals:


Freezing point - 0 degrees C
Boiling point - 100 degrees C
Density as liquid - 1.0 gram per cubic centimeter
Density as solid - 0.9 grams per cubic centimeter
Specific heat - 4.19 Joules per gram



Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2015 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use