What are physical properties?


Quick Answer

Physical properties are characteristics of matter that can be observed without making any changes to the chemical composition of that given matter. In academic contexts, physical properties are often contrasted with chemical properties.

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Full Answer

When chemists discuss physical properties, they are talking about characteristics that can be observed without interfering with molecular structure or taking other steps to change matter. These characteristics include things like color, which can be easily observed in elements like gold; texture, which is easy to determine with something like water; and boiling point, which doesn't require any changes to a given material other than the application of heat.

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