Properties of Matter

  • Matter is anything, such as a solid, liquid or gas that has weight (mass) and occupies space.
  • For anything to occupy space, it must have volume viz. everything on earth is matter


Properties of Matter

  • All properties of matter are either physical or chemical
  • Physical properties can be measured without changing a substance’s chemical identity
  • Chemical properties can be measured only by changing a substance’s chemical identity


  • Physical properties are further divided into intensive or extensive
  • Extensive properties, such as mass and volume, depend on the amount of matter being measured.
  • Intensive properties, such as density and color, do not depend on the amount of the substance present.

Properties of Matter

Physical Properties 
  • Colour
  • Density
  • Volume
  • Mass
  • Odour
  • Density
  • Hardness
  • Ductility
  • Malleability
  • Conductivity
  • Solubility
  • Boiling Point
  • Melting Point
Chemical Properties 
  • Paper burns
  • Iron rusts + Gold does not rust
  • Wood rots
  • Nitrogen does not burn
  • Silver does not react with water
  • Sodium reacts with water


In each of these, the substance’s chemical property is its tendency to:

  • React (Oxidation / Reduction)
  • Tarnish
  • Corrode
  • Explode


States of Matter


  • Are tightly packed, usually in a regular pattern
  • Incompressible + fixed volume + Fixed shape
  • Solid particles vibrate (jiggle) but generally do not move from place to place



  • Liquids are close together with no regular arrangement
  • Incompressible – No fixed shape but definite volume
  • Liquids vibrate, move about, and slide past each other.
  • Assumes the shape of the part of the container which it occupies

States of Matter


  • Are well separated with no regular arrangement
  • Highly compressible – No fixed Shape or volume
  • Vibrate and move freely at high speeds.
  • Assumes the shape and volume of its container



  • Occurs at high temp. & low pressure
  • Atoms break into ions & free electrons, Forms a glowing state e.g. Inside sun / stars
  • Consists of highly charged particles with extremely high kinetic energy
  • Gases in neon sign board  fluorescent tube ionize to form plasma when electricity is passed through them



Bose Einstein condensate

  • Occurs on cooling an atom of very low density at very low temp.
  • Using a combination of lasers and magnets, Eric Cornell and Carl Weiman cooled a sample of rubidium to within a few degrees of absolute zero.
  • At this extremely low temperature, molecular motion comes very close to stopping altogether.
  • Since there is almost no kinetic energy being transferred from one atom to another, the atoms begin to clump together.
  • There are no longer thousands of separate atoms, just one “super atom.”
  • Least energy among all five states


BEC is used to study quantum mechanics on a macroscopic level. Light appears to slow down as it passes through a BEC, allowing study of the particle/wave paradox. A BEC also has many of the properties of a superfluid — flowing without friction.

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