Changes are part of all of our lives and it does not just limit to humans but also animals, microorganisms and even non-living matter. Thus, you see that changes apply to matter and it experiences both type of changes, physical and chemical. However, there is a huge difference between physical and chemical change which you must know about. Further, as they are quite obvious, it is easy to notice them. In a physical change, no new substances are produced. Whereas, in a chemical change, new substances are formed. In order to dive deeper into the topic, let us look at the definitions, differences and more to get a better understanding.
Definition of Physical Change
A physical change refers to a kind of change where the form of matter alters but the substance does not transform into another. For instance, it can change the size or shape but no chemical reaction will take place.
Moreover, physical changes are generally reversible. However, it is important to remember that the reversibility of the process does not count as a criterion for physical change. For example, you cannot undo things like smashing a rock or shredding paper.
On the contrary, in a chemical change, the chemical bonds break or form so that the starting and ending materials are chemically different. Most of the chemical changes are reversible. On the opposite, when you meltwater into ice (and other phase changes) you can reverse it.
Definition of Chemical Change
A chemical change is a process where one or more substances alter into one or more new and different substances. It is also referred to as a chemical reaction. Thus, you see that a chemical change is basically a chemical reaction which includes the rearranging of atoms.
Moreover, as you know by now, that a physical change is often reversible, that is not the case with a chemical change. They cannot be usually reversed, except through more chemical reactions.
In the occurrence of a chemical change, it brings about a change in the energy of the system as well. An exothermic reaction is a chemical change which gives off heat. On the other hand, the endothermic reaction is one which absorbs heat.
Difference between Physical And Chemical Change
Important Difference between Physical And Chemical Change
|Basis of Comparison||Physical Change||Chemical Change|
|Meaning||It is a change where no change in mass takes place and internal properties remain the same.||It is a change where there is the formation of new substances.|
|Production||No new substances are produced||New substances are produced|
|Arrangement||Molecules and atoms are arranged in the same way as in the reactants||Rearrangement of atoms and molecules for forming a new compound|
|Influence||Has an effect on the physical properties like size, shape, colour and more||Has an effect on the chemical properties of the substance|
|Changes||Usually reversible||Irreversible or sometimes reversible|
|Energy||No production of energy||The energy produced in the form of light, heat or sound|
|Example||Breaking glass, dissolving salt, cutting fruits||Cooking an egg, burning a candle, digesting food|
More details about Physical Change
Some of the examples of physical change will help in understanding it correctly. For instance, when you crumple a sheet of paper, it means it is a reversible physical change.
Similarly, when you break a pane of glass, the glass’s chemical composition remains the same. Further, freezing water into ice does not change the chemical formula. Chopping vegetables will separate the molecules but not alter them.
More details about Chemical Change
Chemical changes examples assist in understanding the change better. For instance, when you combine baking soda and vinegar, it bubbles off carbon dioxide.
Further, other examples of this change are rusting iron, cooking an egg, digesting food, and more. So, you see that any change not forming a new product is a physical change and not a chemical change.
FAQs about Difference Between Physical And Chemical Change
Question 1: What is the difference between a physical and chemical change in terms of energy?
Answer 1: In a physical change, there isn’t any energy produced. However, in chemical change produces energy.
Question 2: What is an endothermic and exothermic reaction?
Answer 2: Exothermic reaction is a chemical change which gives off heat. On the other hand, the endothermic reaction is a reaction which absorbs heat.