NCERT Class 7 Science Physical and Chemical Changes

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6 Physical and Chemical


Every day you come across many changes in your surroundings. These changes may involve one or more substances. For example, your mother may ask you to dissolve sugar in water to make a cold drink. Making a sugar solution is a change. Similarly, setting curd from milk is a change. Sometimes milk becomes sour. Souring of milk is a change. Stretched rubber band also represents a change. 

Make a list of ten changes you have noticed around you. In this chapter we shall perform some activities and study the nature of these changes. Broadly, these changes are of two kinds, physical and chemical.


Activity 6.1

Cut a piece of paper in four square pieces. Cut each square piece further into four square pieces. Lay these pieces on the floor or a table so that the pieces acquire the shape of the original piece of paper (Fig. 6.1).

Obviously, you cannot join the pieces back to make the original piece, but is there a change in the property of the paper?

Activity 6.2

Collect the chalk dust lying on the floor near the blackboard in your classroom. Or, crush a small piece of chalk into dust. Add a little water to the dust to make a paste. Roll it into the shape of a piece of chalk. Let it dry.

Did you recover chalk from the dust?

Activity 6.3

Take some ice in a glass or plastic tumbler. Melt a small portion of ice by placing the tumbler in the sun. You have now a mixture of ice and water. Now place the tumbler in a freezing mixture (ice plus common salt).

Does the water become solid ice once again

Activity 6.4

Boil some water in a container. Do you see the steam rising from the surface of water? Hold an inverted pan by its handle over the steam at some distance from the boiling water. Observe the inner surface of the pan.

Do you see any droplet of water there?


A change with which you are quite familiar is the rusting of iron. If you leave a piece of iron in the open for some time, it acquires a film of brownish substance. This substance is called rust and the process is called rusting (Fig. 6.2). Iron gates of parks or farmlands, iron benches kept in lawns and gardens, almost every article of iron, kept in the open gets rusted. At home you must have seen shovels and spades getting rusted when exposed to the atmosphere for some time. In the kitchen, a wet iron pan (tawa) often gets rusted if left in that state for some time. Rust is not iron. It is different from iron on which it gets deposited. Let us consider a few more changes where new substances are formed.


1. Classify the changes involved in the following processes as physical or chemical changes:

(a) Photosynthesis

(b) Dissolving sugar in water

(c) Burning of coal

(d) Melting of wax

(e) Beating aluminium to make aluminium foil

(f ) Digestion of food

2. State whether the following statements are true or false. In case a statement is false, write the corrected statement in your notebook.

(a) Cutting a log of wood into pieces is a chemical change. (True/False)

(b) Formation of manure from leaves is a physical change. (True/False)

(c) Iron pipes coated with zinc do not get rusted easily. (True/False)

(d) Iron and rust are the same substances. (True/False)

(e) Condensation of steam is not a chemical change. (True/False)

3. Fill in the blanks in the following statements:

(a) When carbon dioxide is passed through lime water, it turns milky due to the formation of _________.

(b) The chemical name of baking soda is _________.

(c) Two methods by which rusting of iron can be prevented are_________ and _________.

(d) Changes in which only _________ properties of a substance change are called physical changes.

(e) Changes in which new substances are formed are called _________ changes.

4. When baking soda is mixed with lemon juice, bubbles are formed with the evolution of a gas. What type of change is it? Explain.

5. When a candle burns, both physical and chemical changes take place. Identify these changes. Give another example of a familiar process in which both the chemical and physical changes take place.

6. How would you show that setting of curd is a chemical chang?

7. Explain why burning of wood and cutting it into small pieces are considered as two different types of changes.

8. Describe how crystals of copper sulphate are prepared.

9. Explain how painting of an iron gate prevents it from rusting.

10. Explain why rusting of iron objects is faster in coastal areas than in deserts.

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