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What are five physical properties of matter?

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Quick Answer

According to Elmhurst University, the five physical properties of matter are color, odor, shape, mass and texture. Other physical properties of matter relate to its freezing and boiling points, density and solubility.

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Full Answer

The physical properties of matter describe the appearance or composition of a substance that can be observed without making any changes to the matter. According to Texas A&M University, the properties of matter can be either intensive or extensive. Intensive properties include color, odor, hardness and density. Extensive physical properties include its mass, weight and volume.

Intensive physical properties are characteristics that don't change regardless of the amount of matter being observed. For instance, the hardness of a diamond remains the same even if it's cut in half. Extensive properties are properties that change when the amount of matter changes. According to the University of California, mass, volume and length are examples of physical properties that change when the amount of matter present changes.

Two examples of a physical change of matter are water freezing into ice and water boiling into steam. Although the physical properties of the water change in both of these examples, its molecular components remain the same, whether its in a solid, gas or liquid state.

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