The road between chemistry and physics has two lanes. One of these heads from chemistry to physics. Call it physical chemistry. The other lane heads from physics to chemistry. Call it chemical physics. But the road is the same road. As such, there truly is little difference between the names. However, there is a subtle difference due to the fact that each is pointing in a different direction. Chemistry has historically been an empirical science over which principles are constructed. Physics has historically been driven by axiomatic principles that give rise to the nature that we see. In likewise fashion, the Journal of Physical Chemistry has always tended to publish a slightly greater portion of phenomenonolgical results, that in turn have practical implications in advancing the field. Meanwhile the Journal of Chemical Physics tends to publish a slightly greater proportion of theoretical results and precise measurements, that in turn have implications on advancing fundamental principles. But both are moving towards the middle. As such, even these subtle differences should soon be lost (if they haven't already).
A different journal run by the Royal Society of Chemistry replaced the Faraday Transactions and formalized the blurring between the two names by simply naming itself as Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (PCCP) in 1999. There is evidently plenty of room for us to publish our work. More importantly, the true meaning of physical chemistry and chemical physics is fundamentally the same and truly lies on a one-lane road between chemistry and physics.
(This is the sixth and last post in a series starting with the first one on interdisciplinary sciences.
Click here for the previous post.)