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A chemical property is any of a material's properties that becomes evident during a chemical reaction; that is, any quality that can be established only by changing a substance's chemical identity. Simply speaking, chemical properties cannot be determined just by viewing or touching the substance; the substance's internal structure must be affected for its chemical properties to be investigated.

Chemical properties can be contrasted with physical properties, which can be discerned without changing the substance's structure. However, for many properties within the scope of physical chemistry, and other disciplines at the border of chemistry and physics, the distinction may be a matter of researcher's perspective. Material properties, both physical and chemical, can be viewed as supervenient; i.e., secondary to the underlying reality. Several layers of superveniency are possible.

Chemical properties can be used for building chemical classifications.

  • Reactivity against other chemical substances
  • Heat of combustion
  • Enthalpy of formation
  • Toxicity
  • Chemical stability in a given environment
  • Flammability
  • Preferred oxidation state(s)
  • Coordination number
  • Capability to undergo a certain set of transformations, for example molecular dissociation, chemical combination, redox reactions under certain physical conditions in the presence of another chemical substance
  • Preferred types of bonds to form, for example metallic, ionic, covalent

See also


Simple English

A chemical property is a property, quality or way that an object is. A chemical property cannot usually be measured without changing or making the object chemically different or different in a way that would affect its chemical or atomic structure. This is different than the physical property of the substance because this property is only shown when the substance is reacting or changing its chemistry; because of this it is difficult to see a chemical property. Chemical properties are determined with an experiment or a highly developed model.



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