An irreversible change is when something cannot be changed back to its original form. In many irreversible changes, new materials and substances are formed.
What Is An Example Of An Irreversible Change?
Burning – Once something is burnt, it can’t be reverted to its original form. Likewise, it can’t become unburnt. So, for example, once a piece of paper has been burnt, it can’t be used to write or read anymore.
Cooking – Cooking changes the chemical composition of a substance. Once eggs or meat become cooked, it will never be raw again. Likewise, once a cake is baked, it won’t ever become milk and flour again.
Rusting – Once Iron is oxidized, it cannot become unrusted. The rusted part can be sanded off, and the underside can be re-shined, but the iron will eventually thin out if this continues.
Mixing – Mixing some substances can cause an irreversible change to create a new substance, for example, cement, vinegar, and bicarbonate of soda, to produce carbon dioxide.
What Is A Reversible Change?
A reversible change is often a physical change that can be reversed. It can include freezing water (which can be thawed back into the water) or melting chocolate (which can then be frozen back into a bar).
Why Is It Essential To Learn About Irreversible Changes?
Irreversible changes happen around us all the time. Children can understand how and why these changes occur and develop scientific knowledge.