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A physical property is any
property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property may have the right to Consumable, consume, alter, ...
that is
measurable In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...

measurable
, whose value describes a state of a
physical system A physical system is a collection of physical objects. In physics, it is a portion of the physical universe chosen for analysis. Everything outside the system is known as the environment (systems), environment. The environment is ignored except f ...
. The changes in the physical properties of a system can be used to describe its changes between momentary states. Physical properties are often referred to as
observable In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through ...
s. They are not modal properties. A
quantifiable Quantity is a property that can exist as a Counting, multitude or Magnitude (mathematics), magnitude, which illustrate discontinuity (mathematics), discontinuity and continuum (theory), continuity. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more", " ...
physical property is called
physical quantity A physical quantity is a physical property of a material or system that can be Quantification (science), quantified by measurement. A physical quantity can be expressed as a ''value'', which is the algebraic multiplication of a ''numerical value'' ...
. Physical properties are often characterized as
intensive and extensive propertiesIn grammar, an intensive word form is one which denotes stronger, more forceful, or more concentrated action relative to the root on which the intensive is built. Intensives are usually lexical formations, but there may be a regular process for formi ...
. An intensive property does not depend on the size or extent of the system, nor on the amount of matter in the object, while an extensive property shows an additive relationship. These classifications are in general only valid in cases when smaller subdivisions of the sample do not interact in some physical or chemical process when combined. Properties may also be classified with respect to the directionality of their nature. For example,
isotropic Isotropy is uniformity in all orientations; it is derived from the Greek ''isos'' (ἴσος, "equal") and ''tropos'' (τρόπος, "way"). Precise definitions depend on the subject area. Exceptions, or inequalities, are frequently indicated by t ...
properties do not change with the direction of observation, and
anisotropic Anisotropy () is the property of a material which allows it to change or assume different properties in different directions as opposed to isotropy. It can be defined as a difference, when measured along different axes, in a material's physic ...
properties do have spatial variance. It may be difficult to determine whether a given property is a material property or not.
Color Color (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American Englis ...
, for example, can be seen and measured; however, what one perceives as color is really an interpretation of the reflective properties of a surface and the light used to illuminate it. In this sense, many ostensibly physical properties are called
supervenient In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, lang ...
. A supervenient property is one which is actual, but is secondary to some underlying reality. This is similar to the way in which objects are supervenient on atomic structure. A cup might have the physical properties of mass, shape, color, temperature, etc., but these properties are supervenient on the underlying atomic structure, which may in turn be supervenient on an underlying quantum structure. Physical properties are contrasted with
chemical properties A chemical property is any of a material's properties that becomes evident during, or after, a chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Classical ...
which determine the way a material behaves in a
chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the IUPAC nomenclature for organic transformations, chemical transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Classically, chemical reactions encompass changes that only involve the posit ...
.


List of properties

The physical properties of an object that are traditionally defined by classical mechanics are often called mechanical properties. Other broad categories, commonly cited, are electrical properties, optical properties, thermal properties, etc. Examples of physical properties include: * absorption (physical) * absorption (electromagnetic) *
albedo Albedo (prounounced ; la, albedo, meaning 'whiteness') is the measure of the diffuse reflection of solar radiation out of the total solar radiation and measured on a scale from 0, corresponding to a black body that absorbs all incident radiat ...
*
angular momentum In physics, angular momentum (rarely, moment of momentum or rotational momentum) is the rotational equivalent of linear momentum. It is an important quantity in physics because it is a conserved quantity—the total angular momentum of a close ...
*
area Area is the quantity that expresses the extent of a two-dimensional region, shape, or planar lamina, in the plane. Surface area is its analog on the two-dimensional surface of a three-dimensional object. Area can be understood as the am ...

area
*
brittleness tensile testpieces A material is brittle if, when subjected to stress (physics), stress, it fracture Fracture is the separation of an object or material into two or more pieces under the action of stress. The fracture of a solid usually ...
*
boiling point The boiling point of a substance is the temperature at which the vapor pressure of a liquid equals the pressure surrounding the liquid and the liquid changes into a vapor. The boiling point of a liquid varies depending upon the surrounding enviro ...
*
capacitance Capacitance is the ratio of the amount of electric charge Electric charge is the physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when placed in an electromagnetic field. There are two types of electric charge: ''positive'' an ...
*
color Color (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American Englis ...
*
concentration In chemistry, concentration is the abundance of a constituent divided by the total volume of a mixture. Several types of mathematical description can be distinguished: '' mass concentration'', ''molar concentration'', ''number concentration'', an ...

concentration
*
density The density (more precisely, the volumetric mass density; also known as specific mass), of a substance is its mass per unit volume. The symbol most often used for density is ''ρ'' (the lower case Greek letter Rho (letter), rho), although the L ...
*
dielectric In electromagnetism Electromagnetism is a branch of physics involving the study of the electromagnetic force, a type of physical interaction that occurs between electric charge, electrically charged particles. The electromagnetic force is ...
*
ductility Ductility is a mechanical property commonly described as a material's amenability to drawing Drawing is a form of visual art in which an artist uses instruments to mark paper Paper is a thin sheet material produced by mechanically a ...

ductility
*
distributionDistribution may refer to: Mathematics *Distribution (mathematics) Distributions, also known as Schwartz distributions or generalized functions, are objects that generalize the classical notion of functions in mathematical analysis. Distr ...
*
efficacy Efficacy is the ability to perform a task to a satisfactory or expected degree. The word comes from the same roots as '' effectiveness'', and it has often been used synonymously, although in pharmacology a distinction is now often made between ...
*
elasticity Elasticity often refers to: *Elasticity (physics), continuum mechanics of bodies that deform reversibly under stress Elasticity may also refer to: Information technology * Elasticity (data store), the flexibility of the data model and the clu ...
*
electric charge Electric charge is the physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when placed in an electromagnetic field. Electric charge can be ''positive'' or ''negative'' (commonly carried by protons and electrons respectively). Like ch ...
*
electrical conductivity Electrical resistivity (also called specific electrical resistance or volume resistivity) is a fundamental property of a material that quantifies how strongly it resists electric current An electric current is a stream of charged particles, ...
*
electrical impedance In electrical engineering, electrical impedance is the measure of the opposition that a circuit presents to a current when a voltage Voltage, electric potential difference, electromotive force emf, electric pressure or electric tension i ...
*
electric field An electric field (sometimes E-field) is the physical field that surrounds electrically-charged particle In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' ' ...
*
electric potential The electric potential (also called the ''electric field potential'', potential drop, the electrostatic potential) is defined as the amount of work (physics), work energy needed to move a unit of electric charge from a reference point to the spe ...
* emission * flow rate (mass) * flow rate (volume) *
fluidity
fluidity
*
frequency Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time. It is also referred to as temporal frequency, which emphasizes the contrast to spatial frequency and angular frequency. Frequency is measured in Hertz (unit), hertz ( ...

frequency
*
hardness Hardness (antonym: softness) is a measure of the resistance to localized plastic deformation induced by either mechanical indentation hardness, indentation or abrasion (mechanical), abrasion. In general, different materials differ in their hardne ...
*
heat capacity Heat capacity or thermal capacity is a physical property A physical property is any property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs to or with something, whether as an attribute or as a compon ...
*
inductance Inductance is the tendency of an electrical conductor to oppose a change in the electric current flowing through it. The flow of electric current creates a magnetic field around the conductor. The field strength depends on the magnitude of the c ...
* intrinsic impedance * intensity *
irradianceIn radiometry Radiometry is a set of techniques for measuring ' Measurement is the numerical quantification of the attributes of an object or event, which can be used to compare with other objects or events. The scope and application of measurem ...

irradiance
*
length Length is a measure of distance. In the International System of Quantities The International System of Quantities (ISQ) is a set of quantities and the equation In mathematics, an equation is a statement that asserts the equality (mathema ...

length
*
location In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the wor ...
*
luminance Luminance is a Photometry (optics), photometric measure of the luminous intensity per units of measurement, unit area of light travelling in a given direction. It describes the amount of light that passes through, is emitted from, or is reflected ...

luminance
*
luminescence Luminescence is spontaneous emission of light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that can be visual perception, perceived by the human eye. Visible light is usually defined ...

luminescence
*
luster Lustre or Luster may refer to: Places * Luster, Norway, a municipality in Vestlandet, Norway ** Luster (village), a village in the municipality of Luster * Lustre, Montana, an unincorporated community in the United States Entertainment * Luste ...
*
malleability Ductility is a mechanical property commonly described as a material's amenability to drawing Drawing is a form of visual art in which an artist uses instruments to mark paper Paper is a thin sheet material produced by mechanically a ...
*
magnetic field A magnetic field is a vector field In vector calculus and physics, a vector field is an assignment of a vector to each point in a subset of space. For instance, a vector field in the plane can be visualised as a collection of arrows with ...

magnetic field
*
magnetic flux In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. " ...

magnetic flux
*
mass Mass is the physical quantity, quantity of ''matter'' in a physical body. It is also a measure (mathematics), measure of the body's ''inertia'', the resistance to acceleration (change of velocity) when a net force is applied. An object's mass ...
*
melting point The melting point (or, rarely, liquefaction point) of a substance is the temperature at which it changes state of matter, state from solid to liquid. At the melting point the solid and liquid phase exist in Thermodynamic equilibrium, equilibrium. ...

melting point
* moment *
momentum In Newtonian mechanics, linear momentum, translational momentum, or simply momentum is the product of the mass Mass is both a property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs to or w ...

momentum
* opacity * permeability *
permittivity In electromagnetism Electromagnetism is a branch of physics involving the study of the electromagnetic force, a type of physical interaction that occurs between electric charge, electrically charged particles. The electromagnetic force is car ...
*
plasticity Plasticity may refer to: Science * Plasticity (physics), in engineering and physics, the propensity of a solid material to undergo permanent deformation under load * Neuroplasticity, in neuroscience, how entire brain structures, and the brain its ...
*
pressure Pressure (symbol: ''p'' or ''P'') is the force In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies ma ...

pressure
*
radiance In radiometry, radiance is the radiant flux emitted, reflected, transmitted or received by a given surface, per unit solid angle per unit projected area. Spectral radiance is the radiance of a surface per unit frequency Frequency is the nu ...
*
resistivity Electrical resistivity (also called specific electrical resistance or volume resistivity) is a fundamental property of a material that measures how strongly it resists electric current. A low resistivity indicates a material that readily allows ...
*
reflectivity The reflectance of the surface of a material is its effectiveness in reflecting radiant energy In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , ...
*
refractive index In optics, the refractive index (also known as refraction index or index of refraction) of a optical medium, material is a dimensionless number that describes how fast EM radiation, light travels through the material. It is defined as :n = \frac, ...

refractive index
*
spin Spin or spinning may refer to: Businesses * SPIN (cable system) or South Pacific Island Network * Spin (company), an American scooter-sharing system * SPiN, a chain of table tennis lounges Computing * SPIN model checker, Gerard Holzmann's tool fo ...

spin
*
solubility In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, compounds composed of atom ...

solubility
* specific heat *
strength Physical strength *Physical strength, as in people or animals *Hysterical strength, extreme strength occurring when people are in life-and-death situations *Superhuman strength, great physical strength far above human capability *A common attrib ...
*
stiffness Stiffness is the extent to which an object resists Deformation (mechanics), deformation in response to an applied force. The complementary concept is flexibility or pliability: the more flexible an object is, the less stiff it is. Calculations T ...
*
temperature Temperature is a physical quantity that expresses hot and cold. It is the manifestation of thermal energy, present in all matter, which is the source of the occurrence of heat, a flow of energy, when a body is in contact with another that is ...

temperature
*
tension Tension may refer to: Science * Psychological stress * Tension (physics), a force related to the stretching of an object (the opposite of compression) * Tension (geology), a stress which stretches rocks in two opposite directions * Voltage or elect ...
*
thermal conductivity The thermal conductivity of a material is a measure of its ability to conduct heat. It is commonly denoted by k, \lambda, or \kappa. Heat transfer occurs at a lower rate in materials of low thermal conductivity than in materials of high thermal c ...

thermal conductivity
(and
resistance Resistance may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Comics * Either of two similarly named but otherwise unrelated comic book series, both published by Wildstorm: ** ''Resistance'' (comics), based on the video game of the same title ** ''Th ...
) *
velocity The velocity of an object is the rate of change of its position with respect to a frame of reference In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (ph ...

velocity
*
viscosity The viscosity of a fluid is a measure of its drag (physics), resistance to deformation at a given rate. For liquids, it corresponds to the informal concept of "thickness": for example, syrup has a higher viscosity than water. Viscosity can be ...

viscosity
*
volume Volume is a scalar quantity (physics), scalar quantity expressing the amount of three-dimensional space enclosed by a closed surface. For example, the space that a substance (solid, liquid, gas, or Plasma (physics), plasma) or 3D shape occupies ...

volume
*
wave impedanceThe wave impedance of an electromagnetic wave Electromagnetism is a branch of physics involving the study of the electromagnetic force, a type of physical interaction that occurs between electric charge, electrically charged particles. The elect ...


See also

*
List of materials properties A material's property (or material property) is an Intensive properties, intensive property of some chemical change, material, i.e. a physical property that does not depend on the amount of the material. These quantitative properties may be used as ...
*
Physical quantity A physical quantity is a physical property of a material or system that can be Quantification (science), quantified by measurement. A physical quantity can be expressed as a ''value'', which is the algebraic multiplication of a ''numerical value'' ...
*
Physical testA physical test is a qualitative or quantitative procedure that consists of determination of one or more characteristics of a given product, process or service according to a specified procedure.ASTM ASTM International, formerly known as American ...
*
Test method A test method is a methodology, method for a test in science or engineering, such as a physical test, chemical test, or statistical hypothesis testing, statistical test. It is a definitive procedure that produces a test result. In order to ensure ac ...


References


Bibliography

* *


External links


Physical and Chemical Property Data Sources
– a list of references which cover several chemical and physical properties of various materials {{Authority control Physical quantities