Examples of Physical Phenomena

We explain that what are examples of physical phenomena? The physical phenomena are all events that happen in the tangible world and therefore affect the subject and his environment. These events change some properties of matter such as its position in space, its state of rest or the state of aggregation in which it occurs. No matter how much physical phenomena act on substances, they will never alter it; on the contrary of the chemical phenomena that do modify it in its internal composition.


Types of physical phenomena

Physical phenomena are classified according to the ability of matter to return to its initial state. The types of physical phenomena, based on this criterion, are:

  • Reversible physical phenomena
  • Irreversible physical phenomena

Reversible physical phenomena

The reversible physical phenomena are those that cause a change in the field or in their environment and that once this change, everything can be done gradually returning to the state of the beginning . Some examples of them are:

  • Heating: the temperature of matter and its environment rises. Once exposed to the environment, they can cool down to the initial temperature.
  • Cooling: the temperature of matter and its environment is decreased. Once exposed to the environment, they can heat up to the initial temperature.
  • Evaporation: a liquid at high temperature tends to turn into vapor. It can become liquid again when it touches a cold surface and condenses.
  • Condensation: a vapor that has become liquid on a cold surface can turn into vapor if this area it covers becomes sufficiently hot.
  • Compression: gases have their particles dispersed, so it is possible to reduce the volume they cover in a container. This is called compression, and it is reversible by its opposite process: expansion.
  • Expansion: a gas contained in a container occupies a certain volume. If the environment allows it, as in the case of a piston cylinder, this volume can be made larger and its particles will expand. It is reversible by its opposite process: compression.
  • Movement: a body moves from one point to another and, depending on its conditions or the system to which it belongs, it can naturally return to its initial position.

Irreversible physical phenomena

The irreversible physical phenomena are generating a change in subject or in their environment, and do not allow these to return to its initial state. Of course, the chemical nature of the substance remains the same. Some examples of them are:

  • Crushing : it is when a solid receives strong impacts until it breaks and thus reduces its size. This phenomenon is irreversible because the crushed solid cannot naturally gather itself to return to its initial geometric shape.
  • Grinding : it is when a solid receives repeated efforts until it becomes a powder. This powder cannot agglomerate back into the main rock or solid.
  • Free fall : when a body is released from a certain height, it is influenced by the gravitational field of the planet Earth, which is why it is accelerated towards the ground. The body cannot naturally return to the height it was at and come to rest again.
  • Radiation : when heat energy or any of the electromagnetic spectrum is emitted from a source, it reaches its destination to affect everything in its path and not return to that one.

Physical phenomena on the planet

Physical phenomena occur everywhere and make up the reality we know. They are detected around us and dozens of them can be named:

  • The tides that rise and fall
  • The rotational movements of the planets
  • The translational movements of the planets
  • The change from solid to liquid state (fusion)
  • The change from liquid to solid state (solidification)
  • The change from solid to gaseous state (sublimation)
  • The change from a liquid to a gaseous state (boiling)
  • The change from gaseous to liquid state (condensation)

40 Examples of physical phenomena:

1. Elongation of a spring or elastic

2. Freezing water into ice

3. When dry ice is placed at room temperature and goes from a solid to a gaseous state (sublimation).

4. When water vapor cools and changes from a gaseous to a liquid state

5. Dissolution of sugar in water

6. Dissolve ink in water

7. Bend a wire

8. Bend a steel nail

9. Oil floating in water

10. The change that occurs when aluminum is melted and then cooled (aluminum melts at 660 degrees Celsius).

11. The phenomenon that occurs when a crystal is crushed to powder

12. The change that occurs when water is added to the limestone.

13. The effect of breaking that occurs in wood after receiving a strong impact.

14. The effect of swelling of the wood produced by soaking in water.

15. The effect produced in the wax with the heat, allowing it to be molded.

16. The effect produced on a rock by heating it to high temperatures and lowering its temperature suddenly with water, breaking the rock.

17. The effect of adding carbon to iron creating steel, where both iron and carbon retain their particular properties.

18. The physical phenomenon that occurs when plastic is heated, making it manageable.

19. The observable phenomenon in a cork when exerting pressure on it and that it returns to its previous state after releasing the pressure.

20. The phenomenon that occurs when an aluminum can freezes to minus 100 degrees below zero, easily breaking like “glass”.

21. The rotational movement of the planet that produces day and night.

22. Evaporation of sea water (boiling)

23. Cloud formation the accumulation of water vapor

24. Smelting of iron

25. Conduction of heat in a metal

26. The crystallization of iodine

27. The expansion of a steel ball when heated

28. The formation of the waves of the sea.

29. The formation of a rainbow through scattering of the sun’s rays by means of water droplets scattered in the air.

30. The smelting of copper by means of heat (fusion at 1083 degrees centigrade)

31. The rain that is the product of the evaporation of water.

32. The solidification of mercury at temperatures below 38 degrees below zero.

33. The lunar phases caused by the movements of the Moon around the Earth.

34. The meteorological phenomena that form a thunderstorm.

35. Tornadoes caused by changes in atmospheric pressure and humidity levels in the air.

36. The effect of reflecting light with a mirror

37. The breaking of a glass

38. Separation of salt (NaCl) from sea water

39. Sublimation of naphthalene

40. A hurricane that is formed by high temperatures and low atmospheric pressure.


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