Examples of chemical properties include toxicity, flammability and chemical stability. Measuring these properties involves observing their effects on laboratory animals, testing with a flame or observing changes over time. In each instance, a chemical change occurs.
Chemical properties of matter are those properties that are observable or measurable only when a chemical reaction or chemical change occurs. They are not the physical properties, which an observer determines by viewing or touching a sample. In order for chemical properties to become apparent, there has to be an alteration in the sample.
Chemical properties are apparent when changes take place. Hydrogen gas ignites and explodes, which is a chemical change. Many metals react with acids, including zinc, which reacts by releasing hydrogen gas.
Potassium cyanide and sugar are both white crystalline structures that are similar in appearance. However, their physical properties are not an implication of the chemistry that takes place if ingested. Sugar provides energy for cells after digestion, while potassium cyanide is highly toxic.
Scientists use chemical properties in many ways. They help predict chemical reactions of the material. These properties help to predict what occurs in a chemical reaction. They also help to classify compounds and determine real-world applications for them.