Properties of matter – Chemistry – Natural sciences

We explain what they are and what the properties of matter are. General, specific, intensive, and extensive properties.

What are the properties of matter?

The matter is everything that occupies a visible part of space and has a certain amount of associated energy. This makes it have a spatial location directly affected by time. In other words, matter is what the universe is made of, which can also be measured in some way.

The matter is everything that has mass, occupies a place in space, remains in time, and can be measured with a measuring instrument.

The properties of matter are general (properties in common that all bodies have and do not allow one substance to be differentiated from another) and specific (intrinsic properties of value that would enable one body to be distinguished from another).

General properties of matter

The general properties of matter are:

  • Extension. Space or volume occupied by a particular body.
  • Dough. Amount of value that a body contains.
  • Inertia. Ability to maintain its state of rest or movement without the intervention of a force.
  • Porosity. Space exists between the particles of a body.
  • Divisibility. Ability to subdivide matter into smaller parts.
  • Weight. Force exerted by gravity on a material body.

Specific properties of matter

The specific properties of matter are classified into:

Physical properties (they define the form and the state in which value can be measured):

  • Density. Amount of mass per unit volume. Each material has its density.
  • Melting point. The temperature at which the substance changes from solid to liquid (it is an intensive property of solid matter).
  • Electric conductivity. The ability of a material to conduct electric current through its structure. Some materials are good conductors of electricity (such as metals) and insulating materials (such as glass, plastic, and wood).
  • Thermal conductivity. The degree or extent to which a material can conduct heat. Temperature, material phase changes, and electrical conductivity influence thermal conductivity. Many metals have good thermal conductivity, while polymers do not have good thermal conductivity, and materials such as cork are thermal insulators.
  • Boiling point. The temperature at which the vapor pressure of a liquid equals the pressure surrounding the liquid, causing the fluid to change into a gas. When the temperature of a liquid exceeds its boiling point, the kinetic energy of its particles (which is the energy they have as a result of their movement) increases significantly. The particles will break the surface tension of the liquid due to this increased motion and go into the vapor phase.

Chemical properties (they define the reactivity of matter, that is, when a case is converted into a new one through a chemical reaction):

  • Reactivity. The ability of a substance to react in the presence of another substance.
  • Combustibility. The ability of a substance to combust. Combustion is an oxidation reaction that occurs rapidly, and if it gets out of control, it can cause explosions. Fuels, such as gasoline, are substances that have high combustibility.
  • Acidity. Characteristic that a substance has of behaving like an acid. The pH of dissolved acids in water is less than 7, while pure water has pH=7.
  • Alkalinity. A substance’s ability to counteract the acid effect is neutralizing it.

Extensive and intensive properties of matter

On the other hand, properties can be classified as extensive or intensive:

Extensive properties. They are those in which the measured value resides in the properties of the mass. For example, weight, area, volume, and force.
Intensive properties. They are properties that do not depend on the group; they are the same for a small sample as for a large selection. For example, color, taste, electronegativity, boiling point, melting point, and hardness.

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