EIS 1: Properties of Elements
In this activity, you will be classifying and identifying elements based on their chemical properties. This will help you to understand why it is useful to know the chemical properties of elements.
Specifically, you will be looking at density, flame color, melting point, and boiling point. Click the tabs below to learn more!
Density is a measure of how heavy something is compared to how big it is. For example, a 10 pound boulder would be considered pretty light (or, more appropriately, less dense), but a 10 pound brick would be really heavy (more dense). In terms of elements, things farther down the table tend to be more dense, because they are heavier (have a higher atomic mass) but don’t take up any more space.
Flame color is a chemical property. It has to do with how electrons behave. You haven’t learned about it yet, but when electrons get excited (like when they get hot), they bounce up an energy level (the rings on the Bohr model). When they get un-excited (which happens really quickly, all on its own), it releases light. Depending on how far it dropped down in energy from when it was excited to when it was un-excited, it will release a different color of light.
Melting point and boiling point are chemical properties. Melting point is the temperature at which something changes from a solid to a liquid. Boiling point is the temperature at which something changes from a liquid to a gas. This is related to the attraction between atoms. (You’ll learn more about this later on!).