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Physical and chemical change - grade 10

Matter is all around us. The desks we sit at, the air we breathe and the water we drink are all examples of matter. But matter doesn't always stay the same. It can change in many different ways. In this chapter, we are going to take a closer look at physical and chemical changes that occur in matter.

Physical changes in matter

A physical change is one where the particles of the substances that are involved in the change are not broken up in any way. When water is heated for example, the temperature and energy of the water molecules increases and the liquid water evaporates to form water vapour. When this happens, some kind of change has taken place, but the molecular structure of the water has not changed. This is an example of a physical change .

H 2 O (l) H 2 O (g)

Conduction (the transfer of energy through a material) is another example of a physical change. As energy is transferred from one material to another, the energy of each material is changed, but not its chemical makeup. Dissolving one substance in another is also a physical change.

Physical change

A change that can be seen or felt, but that doesn't involve the break up of the particles in the reaction. During a physical change, the form of matter may change, but not its identity . A change in temperature is an example of a physical change.

You can think of a physical change as a person who is standing still. When they start to move (start walking) then a change has occurred and this is similar to a physical change.

There are some important things to remember about physical changes in matter:

  1. Arrangement of particles
    When a physical change occurs, the particles (e.g. atoms, molecules) may re-arrange themselves without actually breaking up in any way. In the example of evaporation that we used earlier, the water molecules move further apart as their temperature (and therefore energy) increases. The same would be true if ice were to melt. In the solid phase, water molecules are packed close together in a very ordered way, but when the ice is heated, the molecules overcome the forces holding them together and they move apart. Once again, the particles have re-arranged themselves, but have not broken up.
    H 2 O (s) H 2 O(l)
    [link] shows this more clearly. In each phase of water, the water molecule itself stays the same, but the way the molecules are arranged has changed. Note that in the solid phase, we simply show the water molecules as spheres. This makes it easier to see how tightly packed the molecules are. In reality the water molecules would all look the same.
    The arrangement of water molecules in the three phases of matter
    In a physical change, the total mass, the number of atoms and the number of molecules will always stay the same.
  2. Energy changes
    Energy changes may take place when there is a physical change in matter, but these energy changes are normally smaller than the energy changes that take place during a chemical change.
  3. Reversibility
    Physical changes in matter are usually easier to reverse than chemical changes. Water vapour for example, can be changed back to liquid water if the temperature is lowered. Liquid water can be changed into ice by simply decreasing the temperature.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 physical science. OpenStax CNX. Aug 29, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11245/1.3
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