Problem: In the process of attempting to characterize a substance, a chemist makes the following observations:(a) The substance is a silvery white, lustrous metal.(b) The substance melts at 649 oC,(c) The substance boils at 1105 oC.(d) The density of the substance at 20 oC is 1.738 g/cm3.(e) The substance burns in air, producing an intense white light.(f) The substance reacts with chlorine to give a brittle white solid.(g) The substance can be pounded into thin sheets or drawn into wires.(h) The substance is a good conductor of electricity.Which of these characteristics are physical properties, and which are chemical properties?

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FREE Expert Solution

We're asked to determine which of the given characteristics are physical properties, and which are chemical properties.


Recall that:

  • Physical properties 
    • Can be observed without changing the identity or chemical composition of a substance. 
    • Still present after a physical change or a change in matter as it goes from one physical state to another (phase change)
    • Physical properties include appearance, malleability or ductility and conductivity, and density
  • Chemical properties 
    • Properties that can be observed as a result of a chemical change wherein atoms rearrange themselves to create a new substance. 
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Problem Details

In the process of attempting to characterize a substance, a chemist makes the following observations:
(a) The substance is a silvery white, lustrous metal.
(b) The substance melts at 649 oC,
(c) The substance boils at 1105 oC.
(d) The density of the substance at 20 oC is 1.738 g/cm3.
(e) The substance burns in air, producing an intense white light.
(f) The substance reacts with chlorine to give a brittle white solid.
(g) The substance can be pounded into thin sheets or drawn into wires.
(h) The substance is a good conductor of electricity.

Which of these characteristics are physical properties, and which are chemical properties?

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Physical & Chemical Properties concept. If you need more Physical & Chemical Properties practice, you can also practice Physical & Chemical Properties practice problems.

What professor is this problem relevant for?

Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Zhang's class at USF.