Examples of Chemical and Physical Properties

Flammability is a chemical property. (David Lindes)

Flammability is a chemical property. (David Lindes)

A chemical property is a characteristic of matter that can be observed and measured only when a chemical reaction occurs. Contrast this with a physical property, which is a characteristic that may be observed and measured without altering the chemical composition of a sample.

Here is a list of several examples of chemical and physical properties.

Chemical Properties

In order to observe a chemical property, the chemical composition of a sample must be changed by a chemical process or reaction.

  • flammability
  • toxicity
  • enthalpy of formation
  • heat of combustion
  • oxidation states
  • pH
  • half-life
  • coordination number
  • surface tension
  • reactivity
  • hygroscopy

Physical Properties

A physical property may be observed without changing the chemical nature of a sample. Any mechanical property you can name is a physical property, including:

  • mass
  • volume
  • density
  • color
  • temperature
  • melting point
  • boiling point
  • reflectivity
  • elasticity
  • luster
  • permeability
  • ductility
  • pressure
  • viscosity
  • strength
  • solubility
  • electrical charge
  • opacity
  • hardness
Examples of Chemical and Physical Properties
Last modified: September 27th, 2014 by Anne Helmenstine