Difference Between Physical and Chemical Change

Difference Between Physical and Chemical Change

Difference between physical and chemical change are several and it is important to understand them to be able to understand these topics better. The comparisons and differences between physical change and chemical change are given below along with their examples.

To understand the physical and chemical properties and changes better, it is important to know what they are and their characteristics. Visit physical and chemical changes to know more about them in detail. In this article, difference between physical change and chemical change in tabular form is given below.

Difference Between Physical and Chemical Change

Sl. No.

Differentiating Property

Physical Change

Chemical Change



In a physical change, the molecules are rearranged while their actual composition remains same.

In a chemical change, the molecular composition of a substance completely changes and a new substance is formed.



Some example of physical change are freezing of water, melting of wax, boiling of water, etc.

A few examples of chemical change are digestion of food, burning of coal, rusting, etc.



Physical change is easily reversible i.e original substance can be recovered.

Chemical change is irreversible i.e. original substance cannot be recovered.


Formation of new substance

In physical change, no new substance is formed.

A chemical change is always accompanied by one or more new substance(s).


Type of Change

Physical change is a temporary change.

Chemical change is a permanent change.


Energy Production

In a physical change, no energy is produced.

In a chemical change, energy is produced (heat, light, sound, etc.)


Absorption of Energy

Physical change involves very little to no absorption of energy.

During chemical reaction, absorption and evolution of energy takes place.



Physical change affects only physical properties i.e. shape, size, etc.

Chemical change both physical and chemical properties of the substance including its composition.

These were the physical and chemical change differences that are crucial from examination point of view. Questions like distinguish between chemical and physical change is common in most exams and related questions might be asked in some competitive exams as well.

To learn chemistry topics in a more effective way, keep visiting BYJU’S and register for free. After registration, several free video lessons can be viewed and numerous practice tests can be taken. Apart from these, previous year papers and sample papers for all the classes are also provided at BYJU’S.


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