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Difference Between Chemical and Physical Properties

Chemical vs Physical Properties

All properties of substances are classified into physical and chemical properties. We recognize different human beings based upon their physical properties such as height, weight, and complexion, type of hair and facial features. Similarly all substances have physical properties on the basis of which they are identified and made use of. Substances also have chemical properties that are properties that decide how they react with other substances and what happens to them when subject to oxidation or heat. There are many differences between these chemical and physical properties of substances that will be highlighted in this article.

In general, physical properties are those that can be observed and measured, such as the color, shape, hardness and the density of the substance. On the other hand, chemical properties come into fore only when one substance is pitted against another substance to see what happens or how they react with each other. One such property is flammability which decides how a substance is to be handled or stored as flammable substance are easier to catch fire than non flammable substances. Similarly corrosion is another chemical property of substances which is how they oxidize when they come into contact of moisture.

In a broad sense, it can be said with certainty that properties that change the chemical nature of a substance are chemical properties while those that do not cause any change in the chemical nature of the substance are its physical properties. When you are trying to smell a substance (odor), you are not effecting any chemical change, and hence it is a physical property. Some other examples of physical properties are density, color, melting and freezing points, flammability, magnetism, viscosity and density. On the other hand, examples of chemical properties are reactivity with other substances like water, the pH value of the substance, and heat of combustion.

Both physical and chemical properties help us to understand the basic nature of a substance as also how to make the best possible use of the substance in various circumstances.

In brief:

Physical properties vs Chemical properties

• The properties of a substance are classified into its physical properties and chemical properties.

• While physical properties can be observed and measured easily without altering the nature of the substance chemical properties are those that decide how the substance behaves in different circumstances and how it reacts with other substances.


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