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Physical Properties of Water

Experiment #1 from Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry

Education Level
High School


Physical properties of a substance are characteristics that can be observed without altering the identity of the substance. Color, density, hardness, freezing point, melting point, boiling point, and electrical conductivity are examples of physical properties.


In the Preliminary Activity, you will gain experience using a Temperature Probe and data-collection software—experience that will be helpful later as you investigate a physical property of water. You will measure temperature continuously before, during, and after warming a Temperature Probe in your hand. You will then gain experience selecting data ranges, determining statistics, and determining linear fits of selected data using data-collection software.

After completing the Preliminary Activity, you will first use reference sources to learn more about physical properties of substances and the physical properties of water in particular before you choose and investigate a researchable question dealing with a physical property of water.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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This experiment is #1 of Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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