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50 Examples of Physical Properties

 , December 04, 2021 updated on December 28, 2022
Physical properties are concepts and measurements that describe how substances and objects respond to physical forces and phenomena. These are of interest to science and engineering for calculating, predicting, modeling and designing physical processes and things. The following are common physical properties followed by a brief definition of each.
Acoustic Absorption
Boiling Point
Electric Charge
Electric Potential
Electrical Conductivity
Electrical Impedance
Electrical Resistance
Flexibility / Flexural Strength
Heat Capacity
Magnetic Field / Magnetic Force
Mass / Weight
Melting Point
Refractive Index
Shear Strength
Tensile Strength
Thermal Conductivity
Velocity / Speed
Yield Strength
Acoustic absorption is the ability of a material to absorb sound.
Area is an amount of 2d space.
Boiling point is the temperature a which a liquid vaporizes. For water this is 100°C or 212°F.
Brittleness is the point at which a material fractures. This is relevant to materials that do not bend before they break.
Color is an approximation of the wavelengths of light reflected or generated by an object.
Density is mass per unit volume.
Ductility is the capacity of a material to bend before fracturing when placed under a load.
Elasticity is the ability of a material to return to its original form when a load is removed.
Electric charge is the positive, negative or neutral electrical charge held by an object.
Electric potential is a measure of the work energy required to move an electric charge in an environment.
Electric conductivity is how well a material can carry electricity.
Electric impedance is how well a material opposes change to its electrical charge.
Electrical resistance is a measure of opposition to the flow of electric current.
Flexibility, or flexural strength, is the amount of bending stress an object can endure before breaking.
Fluidity is how well a substance continuously deforms under stresses. For example, water and air are very fluid because they bend to forces easily.
Form is the set of dimensional measurements of an object in 3d space.
Frequency is the number of events in a unit of time. Often used to measure the cycles in an electromagnetic wave.
Hardness is local resistance to indentation or scratches.
Heat capacity, or thermal capacity, is the amount of energy required to heat a material up.
Humidity is the amount of water vapor in a gas such as the atmosphere.
Location is a point in 3d space. Alternatively, location could be defined as a point in time and space.
Luminance is the light intensity emitted from a surface in a given direction.
Luster is the degree to which a surface appears to reflect light. For example, a polished metal such as silver typically has high luster.
Magnetic force is the magnetic influence an object exerts on magnetic materials and electricity.
Malleability is the ease with which a material can be shaped by hitting it with a hard object such as a hammer.
Mass is the amount of matter in an object and weight is the force exerted on an object by gravity. In a fixed gravitational environment these can be essentially the same but mass doesn't change with gravity.
Melting point is the temperature at which a solid changes into a liquid.
Momentum is mass × velocity for a moving body.
Opacity is the impenetrability of a material to visible light or other electromagnetic radiation.
Permeability is the penetrability of a material to liquids and gases.
Plasticity is the ease with which a material is molded into a permanent shape.
Pressure is a continuous physical force exerted against an objection but something in contact with it.
Quantity is a measurement that is numerical.
Radiance is the light or heat that is emitted or reflected by an object.
Reflexivity is the proportion of light that is reflected by an object.
Refractive index is a measure of how fast light moves through a substance.
Shape is a two dimensional geometric figure.
Shear strength is the capacity of a material to resist shear failure such as being cut with scissors.
Solubility is the capacity for being dissolved in water or another liquid.
Stiffness is resistance to deformation under stress.
Strength is a broad term for a material's capacity for enduring force without breaking.
Temperature is a measurement of thermal energy.
Tensile strength is resistance to being pulled apart. Pulling is known as tensile force. For example, cables in a bridge that are pulled by the weight of the bridge.
Tension is the amount of tensile force (pulling) exerted on an object.
Thermal conductivity is the capacity of a material to heat up when heated.
Toughness is the ability to deform without fracturing. For example, rubber bends to force and is tough. Diamonds do not bend to force and are not tough as they can be crushed with a hammer where rubber is undamaged.
Velocity is speed in a direction.
Viscosity is resistance to flowing. For example, maple syrup has greater viscosity than water.
Volume is the amount of three-dimensional space in an object.
Yield strength is the amount of force that causes permanent change to the form of an object. Below yield strength, an object will be undeformed by force or will bounce back to its original form when the force is discontinued.

Chemical Properties

Chemical properties such as toxicity, flammability, combustibility and corrosion resistance describe the properties of a substance in a chemical reaction.

Physical Properties

This is the complete list of articles we have written about physical properties.
Carbon Materials
Cold Things
Heavy Things
Material Quality
Melting Point
Tensile Strength
Visible Light
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