Piper's ability of molecular immobilization, or temporal stasis, was inherited from her mother.
The phrase temporal stasis has been confused as a misused word for this ability but it actually states what the ability does (temporal means over a period of time and or denoting time and stasis is a state of balance between forces (equilibrium), and inactivity). The ability causes all persons (except good witches) and objects to freeze in motion. Despite appearances and descriptions of this power, Piper does not truly stop time, only all movement in her vicinity. Initially, Piper's power was triggered by fear, panic, and surprise, but she eventually learned to freeze things at will. Once she learned to deliberately freeze things, this power was activated by an act of will accompanied by gestures, and couldn't be used if her hands were restrained. She later learned to freeze objects with just one hand (and on one occasion, she used a costume prop wand). At first, she simply froze everything in her immediate vicinity, later learning to selectively freeze certain objects. Indoors, her powers were checked by walls, working only on objects in the room she was in. However, she can freeze objects/people in other rooms, provided she has an unobstructed path to them, such as an open doorway. It was established that Piper couldn't freeze good witches, but she seemed to overcome this obstacle. In season six, a male witch with telepathic abilities channels Piper's powers and freezes other witches. Later on, Piper was able to selectively choose what she wanted to freeze. For instance, she could freeze all the innocents in a room and leave everything/everyone else still able to move. She did not even require to know which people in the room were actually innocents. She could also freeze a single object, leaving everything else moving as normal.
When Piper froze an area or object, it would remain frozen for several seconds, unfreezing on its own
.As Piper's powers developed, she could freeze for longer periods and learned to unfreeze objects at will, rather than waiting for the freeze to wear off. She even learned eventually to selectively unfreeze parts of objects she had frozen. She has for example, frozen demons then unfrozen its head in order to interrogate it. It should be noted that certain demons, good witches, warlocks and ghosts were immune or resistant to her freeze power. Some, such as the ghosts and the Furies, are completely immune. Others, such as Jeremy Burns were able to eventually throw off the effects of the freeze within a few seconds. Others, were simply slowed down for a short time, never truly frozen.
Later, Piper gained the power of molecular combustion, the ability to speed up molecular movement instead of slowing them down, and cause them to separate in an explosive action.
This power was usually triggered by anger, frustration, surprise, and fear. Since both powers depended on gesturing with her hands, Piper was apprehensive about using them at first, not certain whether she would freeze something or blow it up. Piper can also blow up mystical discharges, such as offensive energy spheres cast by witches or demons. For instance, in season five, a demon threw a stream of fire at her, and she exploded it. In season eight, Piper shows that she can deflect a projectile in flight. In one episode a demon threw a fireball at her while the Charmed Ones were chanting, and Piper gestures at it while continuing to chant. The fireball flies back towards the demon. Piper also seems to be able to blow up something and not have it affect her. A door for example, would explode, but none of the wood particles would touch Piper. This may be subconscious defense mechanism that one of her powers is responsible for i.e. The shards fly in all direction but are deflected away from her. While some creatures were resistant or immune to Piper's explosive power, those that didn't blow up would often be driven backwards. In season eight, her power grew and she was able to blow up a Triad member after three attempts. Piper was able to agitate the molecules of an object to the point that object would spontaneously combust. In season eight, for example, she caused wood to ignite. Piper seems highly resistant to her own power.For example, in the season seven finale, Zankou had her powers and attempted to use them on her, but only succeeded in causing a minor wound.
Occasionally, in times of great stress, fear, or desperation, Piper's Molecular Combustion power would be heightened to a more powerful degree.
When she performed such empowered blasts, her abilities were similar to that of Molecular Dispersion. This power is also seen with Gideon the Elder. Molecular Dispersion does not merely cause the target to explode/implode, but rather cause the molecules to disperse, disintegrating the object completely. She has, for instance, disintegrated the Source of All Evil. Unfortunately, as the Source was a being of immense power, he was able to reconstruct himself moments later.
Piper's powers are linked to her emotions intimately.
In season five, she began losing control over her powers when she and Leo were having marital problems. She went to the extent of blowing up an entire wall. The first time it is seen is in 'Exit Strategy'. Piper had just gotten her power and was extremely afraid, afraid to the point where she kept blowing things up. Her powers were originally channeled through her hands, but this is not the case when her emotions are out of control. Originally, she had to use both hands for her powers to work, but she later learned how to use just one hand.
Unlike Prue's telekinetic abilities, the limits on Piper's freezing power are not determined by an object's mass.
Even relatively new to her powers, she once froze a moving truck to prevent it from hitting a baby's pram. Rather, Piper's power of freezing seems to be limited by the area, regardless of how many objects are in it or their weight. It is unclear what Piper's limits were out of doors, but in a magical trip to the future, she once froze an entire city block, but not objects/people in a nearby building. She was obviously very surprised by this, as if she had never demonstrated influence over such a large area before. Since this was an accident, it is unclear if that was actually her limit, or if she could freeze an even larger area through effort. She can freeze objects and people that are technically outside the room she is in, if she has a clear shot. In Wicca Envy, when Prue was framed for murder and put in jail, she freezes everything inside the jail from outside; when Phoebe was possessed by the Woogyman, Piper was able to freeze her while outdoors and Phoebe was still inside the manor because the door was open, giving Piper an unobstructed path to her.She also once froze someone who was outside in front of the manor and she was inside, just by thrusting her hands through an open window.
Like the other Charmed Ones, Piper can also brew magical potions and recite/write spells. She is best at making potions, as predicted by Grams in 1997before she died from a heart attack, because Piper is a gifted and university-trained chef.
In contrast with Phoebe and Prue, Piper has never been interested in learning conventional means of fighting, such as martial arts kicks and punches, preferring to rely on her powers. As the use of either of Piper's powers would bring most physical confrontations to an immediate conclusion in her favor, there is little need for her to be adept at hand-to-hand combat. Although she has some combat skills and gymnastic ability, her skills as a fighter are nowhere near those of Prue or Phoebe.