The Difference Between Physical And Chemical Change with Exa - Study24x7
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The Difference Between Physical And Chemical Change with Examples

Updated on 19 August 2022
Edubabble LLP
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Updated on 19 August 2022

We experience many changes in our environment daily that we may not notice. For example, wax melting, iron rusting, bread turning into toast, and so on. All of these changes are physical or chemical. As a result, in this article, we will look at the distinction between physical and chemical change. When the physical properties of a substance change, this is referred to as physical change. Furthermore, it makes no internal changes. A chemical change, on the other hand, occurs when a substance affects the internal structure and forms a new substance.

Definition of Physical Change 

“A usually reversible change in the physical properties of a substance, as size or shape: Freezing a liquid is a physical change.”

Meaning of Physical Change 

Physical change is the transformation of matter into a different form. The chemical properties do not change in this environment. For example, when you tear a piece of paper, it only changes shape and size. The properties, however, will be the same. Similarly, when water freezes or evaporates, the chemical properties remain unchanged; only the physical state changes. As a result, you will have a better understanding of the distinction between physical and chemical change. A physical change does not affect chemical properties of any kind. Furthermore, the modifications are usually reversible and temporary.

Physical Changes Examples

  1. Making ice by freezing water
  2. Making water by melting ice
  3. Making steam by heating water
  4. Reshaping soft clay to create a new shape
  5. Folding a piece of paper
  6. Paper clip bending
  7. Making mud from dirt and water
  8. Vegetable preparation
  9. Splitting a pencil in half
  10. Sugar dissolving in water
  11. The coastline's eroding rocks
  12. Broken glass window
  13. Steel tempering
  14. Fabric cutting

Whereas all of these are physical changes, some are more difficult to reverse than others. It's much easier to liquefy an ice cube than it is to put a carrot back together. However, even if the pieces of a carrot are smaller than the whole carrot, the molecules in each piece remain unchanged - it's still a carrot.

Definition of Chemical Change 

“A usually irreversible chemical reaction involving the rearrangement of the atoms of one or more substances and a change in their chemical properties or composition, resulting in the formation of at least one new substance: The formation of rust on iron is a chemical change.” 

Meaning of Chemical Change 

A chemical change is the exact reverse of a physical change. After the reaction, it produces a new product. For example, when you burn a piece of paper or wood, it turns into ash. As a result, the material's composition changes, resulting in the formation of a new product. In other words, chemical changes change a substance's properties throughout the reaction. Because the atoms and molecules of the compounds begin to reorganize to form a new product. Furthermore, these changes are not easily reversed; rather, they are irreversible. As a result, it is a permanent change that affects the melting point, taste, color, and other properties.

Chemical Change Examples 

  1. Rusting of iron
  2. Firewood is being burned.
  3. Meat grilling
  4. Decomposition of organic matter
  5. Ripening of fruits
  6. Food being broken down
  7. Cooking an egg
  8. Photosynthesis
  9. Silver tarnished
  10. Food spoilage
  11. Decaying teeth
  12. Wine fermentation
  13. Clay firing in a kiln
  14. Respiration (breathing)
  15. Exploding fireworks

The majority of these changes are irreversible after a chemical reaction. While silver polish can be used to remove tarnish from another chemical reaction, it cannot be used to unfry an egg or reverse the degradation rate of a dead leaf. The ability to undo a change is an important factor in determining whether a change is chemical or physical.

Hence, physical changes can be reversed whereas chemical changes are usually irreversible, which is the primary difference between the two.



How do you distinguish between physical and chemical changes?

The physical change affects the appearance or form of matter, but not the type of matter in the substance. A chemical change, on the other hand, produces at least one new substance with new properties.

Why is it important to understand the distinction between physical and chemical changes?

It is critical to distinguish between chemical and physical changes. There are several obvious changes, but there are some basic aspects to be aware of. Physical changes are typically changes in the physical state of something. Chemical changes occur on an atomic level when two or more molecules interact.

What are the three physical forces that can cause a change?

Physical changes can be caused by forces such as motion, temperature, and pressure. When oxygen in the air reacts with sugar, the chemical bonds are broken.

Is it possible to recover original matter through chemical change?

No, the original matter cannot be recovered because it has changed completely. In other words, both its physical and chemical properties are affected.

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