Different substances are characterised by their different propertiesIn scientific studies and research we differentiate different substances based on their properties. There are various properties based on which such differentiation is possible. The simplest is appearance and colour. From appearance we can distinguish liquids from solids, rock from the loose soil, clouds from the snow, tree from the bush, land from the sky and so on. Another property is weight. Some materials are light weight like cotton, paper etc while some are heavy like steel, mercury, cement etc. One interesting property is to dissolve in other material. For example sugar and salt dissolve in water. But wood pieces do not dissolve in it. Another interesting property is reaction with other materials. There are many substances which react with water or acids or alkalies and give out some gaseous material and covert themselves in some new substances. We learn these things in Chemistry and go through so many reactions between the materials. Most of them are used in the industry for production of items from reactions between some different items. Similarly, one important aspect is treatment of materials with heat. Different materials behave differently when heated. Many simply melt and again come back to their solid state as soon as the heat is depleted. Wax is an example of such material. Some of them melt but do not come back and remain in the new form only. For example when snow melts it is converted to water. At normal temperatures it then remains as water. There are electrical and conductive properties of the materials based on which they are selected for electrical wiring and thermal conductions. In industry, this differentiation helps in selecting a good material for a technical purpose. For example copper is a very good conductor of electricity and that is the reason why we use copper wires in our electrical wirings. Aluminium is also a good conductor but not as good as copper but being cheaper it is also used in electrical circuits and wiring,
We learn a lot of things from the properties of different materials and it is this knowledge that is used in identification of materials in an unknown sample. By exposing the sample to so many tests with acids, alkalies, and heat etc we can find out their constituents. Understanding properties of the various materials is very important in scientific studies as it helps in distinguishing a material from other one.
This is my entry for the month end TOW contest on the topic property.