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Physical & Chemical Properties of Matter

Review Chemistry for the GED


Fire indicates a chemical change.

Fire indicates a chemical change.

Christine, www.morguefile.com
Phases of Matter

Each phase of matter has its own chemical and physical properties. The phases of matter you need to know are:

  • Solid - a solid has a definite shape and volume


  • Liquid - a liquid has a definite volume, but can change shape


  • Gas - the shape and volume of a gas can change


Phase Changes

These phases of matter can change from one to another. Remember the definitions of the following phase changes:

  • Melting - melting occurs when a substance changes from a solid to a liquid


  • Boiling - boiling is when a substance changes from a liquid to a gas


  • Condensing - condensation is when a gas changes to a liquid


  • Freezing - freezing is when a liquid changes to a solid


Physical & Chemical Changes

The changes that take place in substances may be categorized in two classes:

  • Physical Change - does not produce a new substance (e.g., phase changes, crushing a can)


  • Chemical Change - produces a new substance (e.g., burning, rusting, photosynthesis)



A solution results from combining two or more substances. Making a solution can produce either a physical or chemical change. You can tell them apart this way:

  • The original substances can be separated from one another if the solution produces only a physical change.


  • The original substances cannot be separated from one another if a chemical change took place.

Learn about chemical reactions...

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