Chemical Properties of Matter

Explanation and Examples of Chemical Properties

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Chemical properties are any of the properties of matter that may only be observed and measured by performing a chemical change or chemical reaction. Chemical properties cannot be determined by touching or viewing a sample; the structure of the sample must be altered for the chemical properties to become apparent.

Examples of Chemical Properties

  • Reactivity with other chemicals
  • Toxicity
  • Coordination number
  • Flammability
  • Enthalpy of formation
  • Heat of combustion
  • Oxidation states
  • Chemical stability
  • Types of chemical bonds that will form
  • More examples

Uses of Chemical Properties

Scientists use chemical properties to predict whether a sample will participate in a chemical reaction. Chemical properties may be used to classify compounds and find applications for them.

Understanding a material's chemical properties helps in its purification, separation from other chemicals or in identification in an unknown sample.

Chemical Properties Versus Physical Properties

While a chemical property is only revealed by the behavior of a substance in a chemical reaction, a physical property may be observed and measured without changing the composition of a sample. Physical properties include color, pressure, length, and concentration.