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What are the properties of matter?

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Quick Answer

The properties of matter include an object's density, color, mass, volume, length, malleability and ability to change its chemical composition, according to the University of California, Davis. Scientists define matter as any object that contains molecules and is capable of taking up space.

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One important distinction scientists make in the properties of matter is between an intensive property and an extensive property. They define an intensive property as any characteristic that remains stable despite the size of the object. For example, the color yellow is an intensive property of matter for bananas. No matter what size the banana grows to be, the object is still going to be yellow. Another example of an intensive property of matter is an object's luster. An object's shininess does not change with its size or shape. Malleability, whether an object is capable of being flattened, qualifies as an intensive property as well.

One of the most obvious examples of an extensive property of matter is an object's volume. If the size of an object changes, it's volume is going to change also. Another example of an extensive property of matter is length. If an object becomes longer or shorter, its length increases or decreases.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the equation for density?

    A:

    Density is calculated by dividing mass by volume. As density measurements are commonly reported in grams per cubic centimeter, conversion is required when the mass or volume of a material is measured using other units.

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  • Q:

    What is the density of plastic?

    A:

    The density of plastic is quite variable, as there are a multitude of different types of plastic; typically, plastics have a density from 0.5 to 4.0 g/cm3. On the low end, there are plastics like Polypropylene Uniboard Standard, which has a density of 0.65 g/cm3. On the high end, there are plastics like TFE Tetron B, which has a density of 3.9 g/cm3.

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    What is the density of glass?

    A:

    The density of most glass ranges between 2.4 g/cm3 to 2.8 g/cm3. The density of window glass is between 2.47 g/cm3 and 2.56 g/cm3. The glass in a vehicle headlight falls with the range of 2.47 g/cm3 and 2.63 g/cm3.

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  • Q:

    What is the density of oil?

    A:

    The density of oil depends on the type of oil and varies between 0.8 to 0.96 grams per centimeter cubed. Fuel oil is commonly used in engines and industrial furnaces. It is also called heating oil and has a density of 0.81 grams per centimeter cubed.

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