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Secondary II • 2yr.


I have a hard time understanding how physical changes work. Can you explain to me how they work please?

Thanks a lot!


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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

    Team Alloprof • 2yr.

    Thanks for your question! 😉

    What is most important to understand about physical changes is that the nature and properties of matter do not change. The characteristic properties of a substance remain as they were after a physical change.

    There are three broad categories of physical changes: changes in shape, phase changes, and the preparation and separation of mixtures.

    Change in shape

    Changes in shape can be observed when one changes an object’s shape. As long as the properties of the object remain as they were, a constraint can be applied. For example, to apply a change of shape, one can bend, crush or even tear an object.

    Change of state

    When temperature and pressure change, a substance may change phase states. A phase change occurs when a substance goes from one phase state (solid, liquid, or gas) to another. An example of such a physical change would be that of snow, when it melts in the sun, going from solid to liquid phase, but keeping its characteristics properties. It is made up of water molecules, regardless of its state.

    Preparation and separation of mixtures

    This change is observed when different substances are mixed together, each one conserving its original properties. For example, if one puts salt in the water, a mixture is obtained, but the nature of the substances involved doesn’t change. This mixture can still be separated, in this case, through evaporation. Thus, there is no chemical change. This category of physical changes includes dissolution and dilution since water does not change the nature of the solute used.

    If you have other questions, don't hesitate to ask them! 😊

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