Physical Properties and Physical Changes
Physical properties are those that can be measured or experienced without altering the identity of the matter.
Physical properties include (but are not limited to)
- phase (solid, liquid or gas)
- particle size
- ability to dissolve
Physical properties can be observed, measured and even changed through physical changes. In other words, physical changes are those that alter the appearance of matter, but not the identity of matter.
For example, melting ice and then boiling the water produced causes a change in the appearance of water, but both ice and steam are water. Dissolving salt in water is another physical change. The salt can still be tasted in the mixture and if the water evaporates the salt regains its original form. Physical changes could also be as simple as tearing a piece of paper, or stretching out a piece of gum.