What Is a Characteristic Property of Matter?

A characteristic property of matter is a chemical or physical property that can help to identify or distinguish one substance from another. Some physical properties of a substance are density, solubility, melting point, color and mass. Chemical properties of matter include flammability, reactivity with acids and corrosion.

Some examples of how a physical property can help to identify an element is comparing densities of different elements. An element such as gold has a density of 19.3 grams per cubic centimeter while sulfur’s density is 1.96 grams per cubic centimeter. Similarly, melting points of substances such as water and isopropyl alcohol are different.

Physical properties are characteristics of a substance that are observed with the senses. Chemical properties are characteristics that describe how a substance changes from one substance to another, such as in a chemical reaction.