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Is frying an egg a physical or chemical change?

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Matter is composed of particles. Particles are composed of one or more type of atom.

Changes in Matter

  • Physical Change: Physical change occurs when the particles of a substance become rearranged, but do not change into different particles. Examples: melting, dissolving, tearing.
  • Chemical Change: Chemical change occurs when the particles of a substance do change into different particles. Examples: burning, reacting.

Egg Chemistry

Egg whites are composed of curled up strands of amino acids called globular proteins. The shapes of these proteins are maintained by weak chemical bonds. When eggs are fried, they absorb heat energy. This breaks the weak chemical bonds that maintain the shape of the egg white proteins, causing them to uncurl. New chemical bonds form between the uncurled egg white proteins.

When chemical bonds are broken or formed, new particles are created. Therefore, frying an egg is a chemical change because it results in the formation of new particles. 

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