Science, Tech, Math › Science Physical Property Definition in Chemistry Share Flipboard Email Print huePhotography / Getty Images Science Chemistry Chemical Laws Basics Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated October 16, 2019 A physical property is a characteristic of matter that can be observed and measured without changing the chemical identity of the sample. The measurement of a physical property can change the arrangement of matter in a sample but not the structure of its molecules. In other words, a physical property might involve a physical change but not a chemical change. If a chemical change or reaction occurs, the observed characteristics are chemical properties. Intensive and Extensive Physical Properties The two classes of physical properties are intensive and extensive properties: An intensive property does not depend on the amount of matter in a sample. It is a characteristic of the material regardless of how much matter is present. Examples of intensive properties include melting point and density.An extensive property, on the other hand, depends on sample size. Examples of extensive properties include shape, volume, and mass. Examples Examples of physical properties include mass, density, color, boiling point, temperature, and volume.