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Physical and chemical changes
Properties of Matter Pathway
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Physical and chemical changes

Physical and chemical changes

Author: Nathan Lampson

This lesson will describe physical and chemical properties and changes of matter.

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Physical and chemical changes occur around us all the time - lakes melt, fires burn, and pots of water boil.

Physical Change

During a physical change, an object changes its appearance but remains the same chemically that it was before the change.

An example of a physical change is ice cubes melting. The water in the ice cubes changes from solid to liquid but the chemical formula of the water remains the same (H2O).

Chemical Change

A chemical change occurs when a substance undergoes a reaction that changes its chemical makeup. 

When a fire in a fireplace burns, the wood is transformed into carbon dioxide and water. The material in the wood undergoes a chemical change because water and carbon dioxide have different chemical properties than wood.