what the solid’s physical properties might tell us about its structure

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misszara
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An unlabelled jar containing a solid substance was found at the back of the chemistry store cupboard. We are wondering what it might be.
Physical properties can tell us a lot about a substance.

Physical properties include:
• Melting point and boiling point
• Appearance under a microscope
• Solubility
• Electrical conductivity
• Hardness
• Malleability
• Colour
• Shininess
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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Melting point and boiling point
The more strong bonds between the atoms/molecules, the higher these are.


• Appearance under a microscope
Any flaws might suggest a weaker structure

• Solubility
More soluble substances are likely to have more e.g. -OH groups that can form hydrogen bonds with water molecules, and less long hydrocarbon chains, which are hydrophobic.

• Electrical conductivity
High values suggest a metal, particularly iron, cobalt, tin OR
a highly ionized material

• Hardness
Strong intermolecular bonds plus close-knit structure e.g. diamond [the ultimate oc [10 on hardness scale] or corundum [9]]

• Malleability
A less tightly bound structure can be flattened more easily e.g. lead

• Colour
Sulphur is yellow, iron (II) salts green, iron (III) brown; lead oxide red; KMnO4 is purple; sodium, potassium + calcium salts mostly white [in general, salts of transition metals tend to be brightly coloured]

• Shininess

Some metals are shiny e.g. gold, silver; very reactive metals like calcium, potassium have a dull cheesy appearance.
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misszara
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(Original post by macpatgh-Sheldon)
Melting point and boiling point
The more strong bonds between the atoms/molecules, the higher these are.


• Appearance under a microscope
Any flaws might suggest a weaker structure

• Solubility
More soluble substances are likely to have more e.g. -OH groups that can form hydrogen bonds with water molecules, and less long hydrocarbon chains, which are hydrophobic.

• Electrical conductivity
High values suggest a metal, particularly iron, cobalt, tin OR
a highly ionized material

• Hardness
Strong intermolecular bonds plus close-knit structure e.g. diamond [the ultimate oc [10 on hardness scale] or corundum [9]]

• Malleability
A less tightly bound structure can be flattened more easily e.g. lead

• Colour
Sulphur is yellow, iron (II) salts green, iron (III) brown; lead oxide red; KMnO4 is purple; sodium, potassium + calcium salts mostly white [in general, salts of transition metals tend to be brightly coloured]

• Shininess

Some metals are shiny e.g. gold, silver; very reactive metals like calcium, potassium have a dull cheesy appearance.
thank you so much!! this helped a lot
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