Difference Between Physical and Chemical Properties (With Table)

The Earth has been evolved billions of years ago because of the continuous physical and chemical changes which took place on it. Due to these changes, the Earth became a favorable place for living of microorganisms, animals, and humans which then evolved on the Earth. Some of the changes we came across in our daily lives are – Burning coal, Rusting, Melting of Wax, Curd Formation, Freezing, and Boiling Water. Thus, with these changes in nature, the property of the matter also changes along with it.

Physical Properties vs Chemical Properties

The difference between Physical Properties and Chemical Properties is that physical properties are the characteristics of any compound or matter through which we can tell about its appearance or measure it without changing its true identity whereas chemical properties of a substance/matter or compound are its ability to endure chemical changes.

Physical Properties are said to be observable or measured changes. These changes have no relation with the chemical bonds of the matter. It helps in describing the appearance of any substance or matter. Examples of some physical properties are – malleability, ductility, lustrous property, shape, odor, molecular weight, boiling point, and density. 

Chemical Properties are the properties that are observed when any substance or compound is gone under any sort of chemical change. It is directly related to the changes that occurred in chemical bonds. To observe any chemical property a matter must undergo a chemical reaction. Examples of chemical properties are – toxicity, radioactivity, reactivity, flammability.

Comparison Table Between Physical and Chemical Properties

Parameters of ComparisonPhysical PropertiesChemical Properties
DefinitionPhysical properties are said to be observed by looking at the matter.The Chemical properties of a substance are observed when it undergoes any chemical reaction.
MeasureIt can be measured by creating no changes in the chemical structure of any compound.It can be measured by observing the chemical bonds of a substance.
Chemical Reaction Observing the physical property of any substance does not require a chemical reaction.To observe any chemical property of a substance, a chemical reaction is necessary.
Structure No changes in the structureChange in structure
Chemical BondsNo direct relation between the chemical bonds of the substance and the physical propertiesThe direct relation between the chemical bonds and chemical properties of the substance
PropertiesNot require to predict the fate of the reactionRequired to tell the fate of the reaction
ExamplesColor, Odor, Volume, Length, MassReactivity, Radioactivity, Flammability, Viscosity

What are Physical Properties?

Physical Properties are the properties that can be stated without any chemical reaction in a substance. Someone can talk about the different properties of a substance by just looking at it. The dimensions, length, shape, appearance are some properties that can be used to identify a substance or compound or matter directly. 

The chemical structure or bond of the matter or compound or substance is not changed anyhow. The physical properties of a substance like composition, the structure does not change. The physical properties can be distinguished into two property further which are – Intrinsic and extensive Property.

  1. Intensive Property – It is said to be the property that does not depend on the amount of the substance. It includes the properties which are related to appearance. Examples of intrinsic property are – Color of the substance as it is not related to the amount, melting and boiling points of the substance.
  2. Extensive Property – It is said to the property which depends on the amount of the substance. Thus, it varies accordingly with the amount of the substance. Examples of extensive property are – Volume of the substance, length. 

What are Chemical Properties?

Chemical Properties are the properties that can be defined as the properties which are observed or measured after any chemical changes take place. It leads to a change in the chemical structure of the substance or matter. The chemical changes that take place to allow us to know the ability of the substance to react with other substances or compounds.

If we consider a compound and observed its chemical properties, then the same compound undergoes a chemical change the entire chemical properties of the compound change after the completion of the reaction as a new compound is formed afterward. Also, it might change the state of the compound (solid, liquid, or in gaseous form).

Chemical Properties have a direct relationship with the chemical bonds formed for a new compound. And it can help in determining the fate of the chemical reaction before it is performed. Some examples of chemical properties are – Radioactivity, Toxicity, Heat of Combustion, Enthalpy of Formation, Reactivity, etc.

Main Differences Between Physical and Chemical Properties

  1. Physical properties of a compound are said to be the properties that can be observed by just looking at it, and no changes have to be made, while Chemical properties are the properties for which a compound has to undergo a reaction to knowing about its different properties.
  2. The physical properties of a compound can be measured without making any changes in the given structure, while the Chemical property of a compound is to be measured by the chemical bonds in the given structure.
  3. To determine the physical properties of a compound, a chemical reaction is not necessary, whereas for determining chemical property, the chemical reaction of the compound is necessary.
  4. There is no change in the structure while determining physical property, whereas there is a change in the structure of the compound while deterring chemical property.
  5. The physical property does not have any direct relation with the changing of chemical bonds, while chemical property does have a direct relation with the changes in the chemical bonds of the compound.
  6. The physical property of any compound can’t be used to determine the fate of the compound or reaction, while the chemical property can be used to determine the fate of any reaction.
  7. Examples of physical properties are – viscosity, length, size, color, odor, volume, etc, while some examples of chemical properties are – reactivity, the heat of combustion, enthalpy of formation, radioactivity, toxicity, etc. 


In our daily lives, we have noticed many changes taking place around us. In the environment, two types of properties can be observed by everyone, which are physical and chemical properties to be known precisely. They may be further of many types, but both of them are extremely distinct from each other.

The Physical Properties of a compound can be predicted by looking at the appearance, while Chemical Properties are predicted by the chemical reaction it undergoes. 

Some of the examples of physical properties and chemical properties are – length, size, color, odor, viscosity, dimensions, radioactivity, enthalpy of formation, volume, reactivity, flammability, oxidation states, buoyancy, temperature, boiling point, melting point, and many more.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0308814694P4182F
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3402/tellusa.v26i1-2.9731
  3. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.1201/9781003069850-5/physical-chemical-characteristics-freshwater-wetland-soils-stephen-faulkner-curtis-richardson
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