Investigationg of Chemical and Physical Changes

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Investigationg of Chemical and Physical Changes

Why I am conducting this experiment?
In order to learn how to recognize chemical and physical changes, I
have to carry out this experiment to see different chemical and
physical changes of different substance.

How can we recognize physical changes and chemical changes?

A chemical change involves a creation of a new substance, but a
physical change doesn’t involve any creation of any substance. For
example, if a piece of chalk drops on the floor and separates into a
few small pieces, it’s a physical change, because only the shape of
the chalk changed, but no new substance is involved, but if a piece of
sodium drops into water, gas comes out, and causes a “pop” sound, that
is a chemical change because gas has been formed when sodium dropped
in the water.


Hypothesis for the experiment:

After I conduct this experiment, I expect and suppose I can recognize
and physical changes, identifying the difference these two kinds of
changes. Also, I will be able to know some physical and chemical
properties of copper (II) sulfate, water, iron, sodium carbonate,
hydrochloric acid and magnesium and identify if it is a chemical
change or physical change in each part of the experiment.


Refer to Chemistry Lab # 2 – Investigating Changes. No changes have
been made in this experiment.


Refer to Chemistry Lab # 2 – Investigating Changes. No changes have
been made in this experiment.


I completed a table to show my results, here is the table:
Table 1. Results of different changes of substances

Part A

Copper (II) Sulfate and Water

Reactant description

Water (reactant):

Color: Colorless

Transparency: Clear, light can pass through


State: Liquid Smell: Odorless

Weight: Light

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MLA Citation:
"Investigationg of Chemical and Physical Changes." 30 Mar 2017

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Additional information: Easily to flow along the test tube

Copper (II) Sulfate (reactant):

Color: Blue

State: Solid

Shape: Crystalline solid

Smell: Odorless

Product description

Color: Light Blue State: Liquid

Transparency: Quite clear, light still can pass through test tube

Addition information: Some small particles flowing in the tube when I
shake the test tube

Part B

Copper (II) Sulfate and Iron

Reactant description

Copper (II) Sulfate mixture (reactant):

Refer to Product description in Part A of this table.

Iron (reactant):

Color: Grayish and lustrous

State: Solid

Shape: Look like wire, very think but long

Density: Quite dense

Malleability: Malleable

Product description

Color: Light red State: Liquid

Transparency: Part of the light can still pass through the liquid

Additional information: Iron has been dissolved when it’s put together
with the Copper (II) Sulfate mixture.

Part C

Copper (II) Sulfate and Sodium Carbonate

Reactant description

Copper (II) Sulfate mixture (reactant):

Refer to Product description in Part A of this table.

Sodium Carbonate solution (reactant):

Color: Colorless

State: Liquid

Transparency: Clear, light can pass through easily

Smell: Odorless

Product description:

Color: Blue at the top, Colorless at the bottom State: Liquid

Kind of solution: Heterogeneous mixture Smell: Odorless

Transparency: Not that clear, but it’s still acceptable for the whole

Additional information: Diffusion occurs, particles of Sodium
Carbonate solution goes through the particles of the Copper (II)
Sulfate mixture

Part D

Hydrochloric Acid and Magnesium

Reactant description

Magnesium ribbon (reactant):

Color: Grayish, a little bit silvery, lustrous

State: Solid Smell: Odorless

Shape: Rectangular ribbon Malleability: Malleable

Dilute hydrochloric acid (reactant):

Color: Colorless State: Liquid

Smell: Odorless

Transparency: Light can easily pass through

Product description

Color: Becomes white when the magnesium ribbon is put into the
acid State: Liquid
Temperature: Increase when the magnesium ribbon is put into the

Addition information: The product fizzles when the magnesium ribbon
and the acid are put together and a new gas has been formed


After I’ve done the experiment, I clearly understand the concepts of
physical change, successfully to identify if substances are performing
chemical and physical change.

In this experiment, I think part A and C are physical changes. In part
A of the experiment, I define it as a physical change because the
product has shown the signs of physical change, because I’ve seen the
particles flowing in the product, which means the product is a
suspension and an indicator of physical change and the color of
product is blue only. The product is a mixture, which means no new
substance is formed, so it’s a physical change.

In part C, after I mixed the two reactants, it has no signs of
chemical change in the product, and I can’t see any new substance has
been formed, which is the best sign of a physical change. Also,
diffusion occurs in the product, the sodium carbonate solution stays
at the top and the copper (II) sulfate mixture stays at the bottom, so
that I can sure it’s a physical change only.

For part B and D, I think they are chemical changes. In part B, when
iron mixed with copper (II) sulfate mixture, the iron is dissolved in
the product, which means a new substance is formed from iron, it’s a
significant sign of a chemical change and the color has been changed
to red, which is also a sign of chemical change.

In part D, when magnesium is put with hydrochloric acid, gas releases
in the product, which is one of the most significant indicator of
chemical changes and the solution fizzles, another sign of chemical
change. The gas is a new substances produced from the reactants.

Even I saw quite a number of signs of different changes to prove the
change in each observation. There are still some signs of physical and
chemical changes that I didn’t see in this experiment, burning, and
creation of precipitation are the two common signs of chemical changes
that I haven’t used. State change, shape changes are also common and
significant change of physical changes in experiments that I didn’t

Physical and chemical changes are very common in our life. But one
thing is very important, physical change can be reversed but not
chemical change. If you don’t believe me, do a simple experiment! Heat
a piece of ice into water, and cool it back to ice! Ice becomes water,
and water reverses to be ice. This simple experiment shows us the
proof that physical changes can be reversed.

In our life, physical changes happen all the time, substances are
mixed to become a mixture, coke is also a mixture and only physical
change occur after the substance are mixed, which benefits us to have
something that is so good to drink, and drinking is one most important
activity in our life. Also, water changes its state if I heat or cool
it, which also benefits us and important, if we want to have some cool
drinks, just cool some water and turn it into ice and put the ice into
the wonderful drinks.

Chemical changes also occur in our life. Oxygen reacts with metals;
metals are worn by oxygen, which is very important and harmful to me
because my properties that are made of metals will be damaged.
Controlled burning in my body is also another important, beneficial
chemical change in my body; new substances are formed from substances
in my body and oxygen to maintain my life.


In conclusion, I think part A and C are physical changes, and part B
and D are chemical changes. Also, I learnt how to recognize physical
and chemical changes in this experiment, some chemical and physical
properties of the substances used in this experiment and signs of a
chemical and physical change.

Sources of error

Here is the list of errors:

· I couldn’t define the exact shape of copper (II) sulfate, which I
might be wrong in the reactant description of part A about the shape
of copper (II) sulfate.

Ways to Improve the Experiment

Here is the way to improve to the experiment:

· Use a magnifier to ensure the shape of the substances.

Applications of that Knowledge

After I learnt how to recognize chemical and physical change, I can
check the milk in my refrigerator to see if the milk has chemical
change, and I can drink it or not.

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