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46 Examples of Physical Change

A physical change affects the physical properties of an object or substance but not its chemical composition. For example, chopping wood is a physical change but burning wood is a chemical change. Physical properties include things like shape, form, state, strength, durability, structure, texture, size, color, volume and density. The following are common examples of a physical change.
A dust storm
A hair cut
Absorbing water with paper towel
Bending a stick
Blending flour and sugar together
Boiling water
Breaking a glass
Carving wood
Chipping a tooth
Chopping wood
Condensation of water on a cold glass
Cooling of magma into rock
Cracking an egg
Crumpling a piece of paper
Crushing a rock
Cutting an onion
Dissolving salt in water
Drying clothes on a line
Erosion of sand on a beach
Folding paper
Freezing an ice rink
Growth of sugar crystals in a jar of honey
Hammering a nail into wood
Heating a room
Jumping in a pool and becoming wet
Knitting mittens
Lighting a light bulb
Melting chocolate
Mixing candies together in a bowl
Mixing watercolor paints
Mowing a lawn
Painting on a canvas
Peeling potatoes
Polishing an apple with a cloth
Releasing the air pressure in a balloon
Sandpapering wood
Shaping clay
Sharpening a pencil
Shredding paper
Steam from a hot shower
Stirring cream into coffee
Stretching an elastic
Sublimation of dry ice
Tying a knot in a rope
Writing on paper
Many, but not all, physical changes are reversible. For example, sugar that has been dissolved in water can be returned to a solid state when the water evaporates. In practice, some physical changes are effectively non-reversible. For example, if you carve wood it is generally not possible to put the shavings back on the wood as wood is organic and can't necessarily be mechanically recreated.


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