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You are watching: Is popping popcorn a chemical or physical change



Popcorn mathematics & scientific research Experiments

Seriously, no matter how much they say "I don"t choose math!" or "science is boring", no kid can resist popcorn!

You"ll require a few things for this experiment; we"ve had affiliate links for several of the items we point out -- and also it"s the perfect method to tie scientific research & math to one after college snack ;)

Supplies for the Experiment:


How to do Popcorn

Just in case you"ve never popped kernels favor this (I know many families enjoy the convenience that microwave popcorn), there are two methods you can make popcorn:

To chef popcorn kernels in the microwave: placed the kernels right into a record bag, wrinkles the height of the bag over 3 times and also put in the microwave for about 1 minute (time will vary with different size/strength microwaves so simply listen for the popping to slow down so friend don"t burn your kernels).To chef popcorn ~ above the stove: put a little amount of olive oil in a pot, ar kernels in the pot and cover. Turn the burner ~ above high and also move the pot back & soon on the burner -- as it heats up, you"ll listen popping. Rotate off the burner when the popping beginning to slow down.

You can additionally use a warm Air Popper


Popcorn Volume Activity

The very first thing we can discover is the ide of volume.

Volume is the lot of an are occupied by one object.

Both jars save 100 popcorn kernels -- however, the kernels in the popped jar clearly take increase a larger volume that the jar.

Interesting, isn"t it?

Same article and variety of kernels however when you pop the kernels, they every expand and also take up more space.

Ask the children what various other items might also have the same outcome.

A hint: miscellaneous you blow up at a party -- balloons will have the very same result! once deflated, they will certainly occupy less an are than as soon as they room inflated.

Which brings united state to the next concept ...

Popcorn: A Physcial change Experiment

All things on planet are made up of matter.

Matter is any type of substance which has mass and occupies space.

Now sometimes, we can actually opportunity the state of issue (or readjust it"s form) -- we deserve to do miscellaneous to do it look at different.

For example, you can freeze water and create ice. Water is a liquid, ice is a heavy -- thus, freezing has adjusted its state.

With a physical change, the size, shape or color of your substance will certainly change.

By adding heat to pop the kernels, we have changed the physical state of the popcorn -- definition that the looks different than when we started.

In this case, it"s a irreversible physical adjust as we space not maybe to go back to the original kernels. (see Natasha"s comment and the discussion listed below for more on this!)

This is not true with our balloon example above or the freezing of water -- balloons can be deflated and returned come their initial state and ice have the right to be melted and returned come water. Therefore in these 2 examples, there is no irreversible physical change that occurs.

Popping Popcorn: physics vs chemical Change?

Many world ask "Why is popping popcorn a physical readjust and no a chemistry change?" -- especially when face with the reality that girlfriend can"t go ago to its" original state that matter.

Let"s take it a look in ~ the idea the a chemical adjust --

Chemical changes alter the atoms of a substance. Bonds in between atoms are broken, new bonds form and this outcomes in a brand-new substance.

After popping popcorn, us still have the very same substance - simply in a different state (kernel vs popped). As soon as the popcorn is in a kernel state, there is a tiny amount that liquid within -- as it"s popped, the fluid is heated, released and the kernal transforms form.

This is really different from say, baking a cake.

When you mix ingredients for a cake and also then include heat, girlfriend are creating a chemical reaction -- the baking flour in her cake is heated and changes to a gas.

See more: How To Take A Belly Piercing Out A Belly Ring, How Do I Change My Belly Ring

Quite a little of what we do in the kitchen results in only a physical adjust of matter:

think about making toast (you can"t un-toast it)making lemonade (it"s simply mixing lemon juice, water and also sugar - no chemical change occurs yet you can"t un-mix the either)or even grain (once you pour milk over it, there"s no going ago to it"s original dry state).

Not poor for some tasty learning, huh!

Ok, time to pop the remainder of those kernels and have a snack :)

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