25 Examples of Temporary and Permanent Transformations

Matter is everything that takes up space, has weight and that can be perceived by the senses. Matter can undergo transformations. These can be physical, when matter changes state (solid, liquid or gas) but maintains its own characteristics; or chemical, when a chemical reaction alters the properties of matter.

Physical transformations usually cause temporary changes in matter, while chemical transformations are almost always permanent.

  • Temporary transformations. They occur when matter is altered but then recovers its initial condition. These are physical transformations, after which matter does not lose its properties and returns to its original state. For instance: when frozen water melts, it returns to its liquid phase without losing any of its properties. These changes can be caused by intentional as well as unintended physical phenomena (where nature reacts and modifies the state of matter).
  • Permanent transformations. They occur when the initial condition of matter is completely altered. After this change, matter does not return to its original state. They are changes produced by chemical alterations that cause an irreversible transformation. For instance: decomposition of food, oxidation, combustion.

Examples of temporal transformations

  1. Freeze water
  2. Haircut
  3. Water condensation
  4. Melt butter on fire
  5. The seasons of the year
  6. Crumpling a sheet of paper
  7. Melt a candle
  8. Melt chocolate
  9. Cutting the nails
  10. Prune a plant
  11. Wet a sheet of paper
  12. Boil water
  13. Melting process of a metal

Examples of permanent transformations

  1. Burning wood
  2. Burn a sheet of paper
  3. Cooking popcorn
  4. Food in a state of decomposition
  5. Rusting of metal objects
  6. Cooking the meat
  7. Burn a match
  8. Eat food
  9. Ignite or burn charcoal
  10. Cell aging
  11. Break a glass
  12. Cut a fabric
  13. Fruit ripening