The study of matter is one of the most basic branches of physics and chemistry. A fundamental field of study that has allowed us to know in particular the properties of matter to be able to mold it as we please, building everything we see today.
So, in this article we are going to discover the most important properties of matter that are usually studied . Although there are some more complex ones, here we have grouped them by physical properties, chemical and basic properties, with which we started.
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Quantitative vs. qualitative properties
First of all, we can establish a differentiation between quantifiable and non-quantifiable properties. We explain it in detail
properties Quantitative properties are based on data that can be measured or quantified. Therefore, they imply numbers with their corresponding units and, often, the existence of an instrument to measure these units. In the case of matter, some examples are temperature or density , which are expressed in degrees and grams per cubic centimeter, correspondingly.
On the contrary, qualitative properties are those that describe certain properties that cannot be measured, although they are perceptible through the senses. Some examples of qualitative properties of matter are color, smell or state (although we can define them with words like solid, liquid, gas, etc., we cannot quantify the state of matter).
Basic Properties of Matter
We begin the list with the basic properties of matter. Many of these depend on a single variable and, although they can be classified within the following categories, these basic properties are the first ones that are usually studied and the easiest to understand.
Refers to the measurements of an object. Specifically to the width, height and thickness of it . We can talk about both the extension of a hammer and the extension of a hydrogen atom.
It refers to the amount of matter. This property of matter is one of the most basic since it can be said that it is talking about how much matter there is in a specific space.
This property of matter quantifies the fact that there is a space between the molecules . The greater this space, the greater its porosity.
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Divisibility is the property of matter that informs us of the degree to which a material can be divided into several fragments.
This property of matter allows it to stretch to a certain length and then return to its original position.
Inertia describes the ability of matter to stay in the position and speed at which it is.
Physical properties of matter
Now we are going to proceed to discuss some of the most important physical properties of matter. Although there are many more, we have chosen the ones that are usually most present.
It refers to the extension taking into account the three spatial dimensions at the same time. That is, the height, multiplied by the width and the thickness.
8. Density Density
is a property of matter or rather, a characteristic. It is calculated taking into account the volume that a body occupies and the amount of mass . The more mass and/or less volume, the more density.
9. Melting point
It is the amount of temperature that matter supports until it melts. This physical property (that of going from a solid to a liquid state) is usually expressed in degrees Kelvin or degrees Celsius.
It is a property of matter that allows it to deform without breaking (and therefore dividing). This property allows a material to be made into thin sheets . Gold is the most malleable element known.
This physical property of matter describes the extent to which a material is capable of reflecting light.
Similar to malleability, only in this case, it describes the possibility that matter turns into fine threads.
Toughness measures the ability of a material to absorb energy without breaking. It is explained as the degree of cohesion that exists between the molecules of matter.
It describes the force with which a material opposes physical alterations of the type: penetration, abrasion and scratching .
Chemical properties of matter
Finally we are going to comment on some of the most important and well-known chemical properties of matter. They are the following.
Oxidation is a process that occurs when one element gives up electrons to another. When it loses them, it is said to “rust”. For this reason, among the properties of materials, one is the ease with which it oxidizes.
16. Electrical conductivity
We are going to see two types of conductivity. The first is electrical conductivity, one of the most used properties of matter in industry.. This physical-chemical property measures how easily a material allows the electric current to travel through it.
17. Thermal Conductivity Thermal
conductivity describes how easily a material allows heat to propagate through it.
Toxicity is a chemical property that many materials and substances have. Anything that, when in contact with a living being, causes a disease or deterioration of health, is considered toxic. Toxicity is also linked to a specific dose.
Matter, especially organic matter, can be broken down into more basic chemical elements, which make it up. Thus, matter biodegrades under certain environmental conditions. The faster and faster the matter degrades, the more biodegradable it will be.
Finally, the ability of a substance to dissolve in a liquid , usually water, is called solubility. The more soluble the matter, the easier it is to dissolve.
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