Physical Change vs Chemical Change: Mean Difference Explained With Examples

physical change vs chemical change

Many people got confused when they talk or listen to physical change and chemical change. There are some things to keep in mind before differentiating both from each other. Both these changes are different from each other.

Physical and chemical changes have different effects, looks, and situations under which they influence other materials. To differentiate both these changes from each other, it is very important to clearly know about both these changes and their properties which will help you a lot in understanding the mean differences between chemical and physical changes. 

So, let’s start with the basic introduction of physical and chemical changes. We will also state some examples of both changes to clarify the concept of each change. 

What is a Physical Change:

Physical change or physical reaction is a reaction that can change the appearance, color, size, and shape of a matter. It can change the physical properties of matter, not the chemical properties.

It can cause, the change of color, size, shape, and appearance of a substance without changing its composition.

Examples of Physical Changes:

To clarify the concept of the physical reaction of matter, here are some common examples that you can observe and experience in your daily life:

  • Cutting: Cutting is one of the most common examples of a change in the physical state of matter. If you cut a block of wood and iron into pieces that this will be a change in the physical state of matter. 
  • Boiling and Melting: Boiling and melting of ice is another example. The ice is solid but when you boil it, it becomes water. It only changes its physical form but the composition (oxygen and carbon dioxide in water) remains unchanged. 

Bending is another example in which the shape of a matter changes. I am pretty sure that these two examples have covered the concept of the change in the physical state of a substance. 

Now, the only thing left is the difference between chemical vs physical change. Well, if you have carefully read the whole article, then it is not difficult for you to determine the difference between a physical and chemical change. But don’t worry, if you’re still confused about the difference between these two changes then, below is the mean difference between physical vs chemical change.

What is a Chemical Change?

Chemical reactions or chemical changes are changes in the composition of a substance. The chemical reaction does not change the look, area, and overall appearance of a substance or object. It just changes the composition of a substance.  

Composition is the natural arrangement of atoms. If we talk about chemical change or chemical reaction of a substance then it means that we are talking about the change in the atomic and molecular nature of a substance (composition). 

When there is a change in composition, there will be a complete change in a material with different properties. 

Examples of chemical reactions:

examples of chemical reaction

To clarify the concept of chemical reaction, here are some examples:

  • Burning of natural gas: Methane produces carbon dioxide and water when it reacts with oxygen. This is an example of chemical change.
  • Photosynthesis is another example of chemical change. Plans convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and sugar.
  • Rusting of iron is another good example in which the oxygen and moisture cause the formation of rust. 

All these are examples of a chemical reactions. There are more but these three are the most common and easy-to-understand examples. 


Physical vs Chemical change:

physical vs chemical change

Here is a table in which we have listed the main differences between a chemical reaction and a physical reaction.


Physical Change Chemical Change
Physical reaction does not change the composition of matter. On the other hand, chemical change can change the composition of matter.
The physical reaction can change the appearance, size, shape, and color of a matter A chemical reaction cannot change the appearance, size, shape, and color of a matter
In a physical change, only the appearance of matter is changed. In Chemical change, a new substance with different properties is formed. 


These are the main differences between physical and chemical change.


In conclusion, physical and chemical changes are fundamental concepts in the study of chemistry. Physical changes involve the alteration of a substance’s physical properties, such as size, shape, or state, without affecting its chemical composition. Chemical changes, on the other hand, involve a change in the substance’s chemical composition. Understanding the differences between these two types of changes is essential for understanding many natural phenomena and for carrying out various chemical reactions. For more interesting articles, NewYorkMag is always here for you. 

About author


Muhammad Usama is a versatile writer who covers a wide range of topics with a focus on research-based content. He has a wealth of expertise and experience in various niches and is known for producing high-quality, insightful pieces that reflect his in-depth understanding of the subjects he writes about. He is dedicated to providing accurate, well-researched information to his readers, and his work is characterized by its depth of analysis and attention to detail. Whether he is writing about current events, science, technology, or any other topic, Muhammad Usama is sure to deliver thought-provoking and informative content that is sure to engage and educate his readers.
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