# Physical Property of Matter: Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Water Phase Changes: Physics Lab

### You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
• 0:00 Definition
• 0:49 Examples
• 3:43 Lesson Summary

Want to watch this again later?

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!

#### Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Derrick Arrington

Derrick has taught biology and chemistry at both the high school and college level. He has a master's degree in science education.

Every time you look at an object, you observe its properties. In this lesson, you will learn about the physical properties of matter so you can identify them in the future.

## Definition of Physical Properties of Matter

Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. It can be in the form of solids, liquids, or gases. When you look at an object, you are able to see many of its properties. Scientists classify matter based on its chemical and physical properties that have been observed and tested. Some physical properties are only known through experimentation, while others are visible to the naked eye.

A physical property is a characteristic that can be observed or measured without changing the composition of the sample. Physical properties can be used to describe mixtures as well as pure substances. Because these pure substances have uniform and unchanging compositions, they also have consistent and unchanging physical properties.

## Examples of Physical Properties of Matter

There are many types of physical properties. Commonly used examples include density, color, odor, hardness, and volume. Physical properties are further classified based on whether they are extensive or intensive. Extensive physical properties are those that are dependent on the amount of the substance present. Intensive physical properties are those that do not depend on the amount of the substance present. This means they will be the same whether you have one gram or one thousand kilograms of the substance.

Density is a physical property that is determined by dividing the mass of a given amount of a substance by its volume. It is often reported in units of g/mL, which means 'grams per milliliter'. Density is an intensive property because the density of a pure substance will be the same no matter how much of it you have. For example, the density of pure gold is 19.3 g/mL. This means that whether you have .5 grams or 200.5 grams of pure gold, the density will always be 19.3 g/mL when tested. Knowing this standard value enables jewelers to determine whether or not an item is pure gold.

Color is a commonly used physical property. It is often used to identify materials such as rocks and minerals. Color can be seen and measured but can be interpreted differently by respective viewers of the substance. Some materials can also appear darker or lighter depending on the amount of the material being viewed. This makes color an extensive physical property.

Odor is a physical property often used to identify chemicals and materials such as spices. Odor is considered an intensive physical property because the smell should be the same no matter how much you have of the material. It is important to note that the smell may not be as strong for a smaller amount when compared to a large amount, but it technically is the same smell.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.

### Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
Back

Back

### Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.