What Are the Properties of Matter?

The properties of matter include an object’s density, color, mass, volume, length, malleability and ability to change its chemical composition, according to the University of California, Davis. Scientists define matter as any object that contains molecules and is capable of taking up space.

One important distinction scientists make in the properties of matter is between an intensive property and an extensive property. They define an intensive property as any characteristic that remains stable despite the size of the object. For example, the color yellow is an intensive property of matter for bananas. No matter what size the banana grows to be, the object is still going to be yellow. Another example of an intensive property of matter is an object’s luster. An object’s shininess does not change with its size or shape. Malleability, whether an object is capable of being flattened, qualifies as an intensive property as well.

One of the most obvious examples of an extensive property of matter is an object’s volume. If the size of an object changes, it’s volume is going to change also. Another example of an extensive property of matter is length. If an object becomes longer or shorter, its length increases or decreases.