Physical Change Project

By Joe Bruno and Chris DelGeorge, Class 601

What is a physical change?

A physical change is when a material changes but keeps its identity. This means that although the object may look different, the particles that make it up stay the same. In other words, the material/object may change physically, but not chemically.

Examples of physical changes

Some examples of physical changes include:

‌• The shape of the object changes

‌• The size of the object changes

‌• The state or phase of matter changes

‌• The material dissolves

‌• The color changes (although this doesn't guarantee that it is a physical change)

‌• Boiling

‌• Melting (solid to liquid)

‌• Freezing (liquid to solid)

‌• Evaporation (liquid to gas)

‌• Condensation (gas to liquid)

‌• Sublimation (solid to gas)

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A change in state of matter

A change in the state of matter of an object is an example of a physical change. Although the ice cube (solid) can turn into a liquid and the liquid can turn into a gas, they are all forms of water. Just because the state of matter is different, that doesn't mean that the substances that make it up are different; it is still water, no matter what form it is in.
Physical Change
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The scrap paper before.
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The scrap paper after.

Ripping apart the scrap paper

Ripping apart the scrap paper is considered a physical change, because it does not change the identity of the paper. Although the paper is now separated into multiple pieces, the substances that make it up did not change. The paper did not transform into an entirely different object once it was ripped apart – it was merely separated into different pieces.
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A broken pencil is another good example of a physical change, because although the pencil is now snapped in half it is still a pencil. The substances that make up the pencil did not change.