Properties of Matter For Kids

Matter is all around us, from the bed we sleep on to other humans. Matter can be defined as anything that is made up of atoms and takes up space. It generally has two properties volume and mass. Since everything around us is matter, the way we differentiate between them is by their properties and composition. In terms of properties, there are two different types the physical and chemical.

Physical properties of matter

The physical properties of matter allow us to view it as it is. It doesn’t deal much with the composition of the matter. There are two types of physical properties of matter: intensive and extensive. The intensive property is any property of the matter that does not change even if the matter itself changes. An example of this would be the color or density of the matter.

The extensive property of matter is the property that does change as the matter changes such as volume and mass.

Can matter change physically?

A matter can go through a process to change its physical state. We can take water as an example here. As ice, water is a solid matter with a specific volume, mass, density, and color. When you melt the ice it turns from solid to a liquid. The volume and mass of it change however the color and density remain the same. We also need to keep in mind that a change in molecular composition is not required for matter to change physical shape. The elements that were present before the change are still present after it.

Chemical properties of matter

The chemical properties allow the matter to go through a change. It is the chemicals and molecular makeup of the matter. Unlike with a physical change, chemical change results in a change in the molecular composition of the matter. Chemical change leads to the matter changing into something that is different than it originally was. The chemical makeup of the matter changes and is rearranged to something different which basically changes the matter. It basically alters the original matter.

Water can be used as an example here once again. As you heat it from a liquid to gas, it completely changes the makeup of water as the H2O bonds are broken and it transforms from liquid to gas, evaporating.

The properties of matter allow us to touch, see and sense it as they are. It consists of the molecular makeup and the physical appearance of the matter. Both of which can change if the matter goes through a certain process.