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Physical properties are those that you can detect with your senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell. With just a glass of water, you can explore physical properties of water.

Activity: Investigating Water

glass of drinking water,paper cup,pen,freezer,cooking pot,stove thermometer,piece of paper


1.Obtain a clear glass and fill it with water. Or, observe water as it pours from a faucet. List at least five physical properties of the water (five words that describe the water).

2.Fill the paper cup half full of water. Mark the height of water on the outside of the cup. Freeze the water overnight. Look at the height of the ice compared to the line you drew the day before. What property of water do you observe?

3.Fill a small sauce pan 1/3 to 1/2 full of water and heat it on the stove. Use your thermometer supplied with the lab kit to find the highest temperature reached. **Do not allow your thermometer to sit in the pan on the bottom. Hold the thermometer away from the pan bottom and measure the temperature of the water.** This physical property is called the boiling point of water. What is the boiling point of water according to your thermometer?

4.What would have to be done to the water to make it change chemically, that is, make it change into the substances that compose it —hydrogen and oxygen? Remember, boiling water will not change it chemically, but will only cause a phase change.

5.Find the Density of the water.

Density = Mass/Volume

In other words, how much matter is crammed into a given space

Here is some information you will need. The data has been collected for you.

Item Mass
Empty graduated cylinder 41.6 grams
Graduated cylinder containing 82 ml of water 123.1 grams
Mass of the water ? grams
Density of the water ? g/mL

What was the density of the water in g/mL?

Remember that you want to find the density of just the water. Show your all your work and data. List all measurements in a data table.

6.Now look at the piece of paper. Using your knowledge of atoms from the Nuclear unit,

Describe two differences in the physical properties of water and the piece of paper.

Describe reasons the paper's physical properties are different from the water's physical properties.


  • Chemistry -

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