Matter is anything made up of atoms and that takes up space. That’s practically everything you see! Physical properties can be easily seen and measured. 

Here are some common physical properties that you can use to differentiate the matter you see around you:

Hardness of a material - The hardness of material measures how hard material is. Harder materials are more difficult to cut and shape. They are very useful to make machines and tools that need to be strong. To test how hard minerals are, there’s a special scale called the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Examples of hard materials are steel, diamonds, concrete, and granite.

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Transparency of a material - The transparency of a material is how light passes through something. Transparent objects let light pass through them easily, they can be seen through like glass. Opacity is the opposite of transparency. Opaque objects do not let light pass through. Translucency is in between. Translucent objects let some light pass through but not enough to see any objects behind. Frosted glass and paper are translucent, if you look through them you can see shadows behind but not any details.

Conductivity of a material - The conductivity of a material is the ability to let energy such as electricity, light or heat run through. Wires conduct electricity through most of our electronic devices. Pans and ovens are made with special materials that conduct heat.

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Magnetism - Magnetism is the ability of a substance to attract or repel another. This is done with an invisible force called the magnetic field.

Here are some more words to learn!

Brittle: how easily something breaks

Elastic: elastic objects change shape and size when force is applied but go back to their original shape when the force stops

Volatile: a substance that quickly changes to vapour

Inflammable: substances that catch fire easily

Combustible: substances that burn easily