In general, the matter can exist in mainly three different states. A group of states that are collectively known as the states of matter. Under specific conditions, these states of matter can undergo a physical process. A process we refer to it as a phase transition.
For an instance, a solid to a liquid phase transition is known as the process of melting. Or, liquid to a gas phase transition is known as the process of evaporation.
Similarly, for gas to a liquid phase transition, we refer it as a process of condensation. If you don’t know, there is one more distinct type of phase transition in which an intermediate phase can be skipped. One of these types of phase transitions is known as the process of sublimation.
In science, condensation is a type of phase transition during which a matter changes from a gas to its liquid form. The process of condensation occurs before the gas reaches its freezing point.
Not to mention, the lower the temperature, the higher will be the rate of condensation. Moreover, these types of phase transitions usually take place at high altitudes. The condensation process specifically comes under the category of the exothermic phenomenon about which we will talk in the next section.
The opposite of condensation is known as evaporation. In other words, when a material or substance changes from a liquid to its gas form, known as evaporation.
Just to make things a bit more clear, Condensation occurs when there is a gas to a liquid phase transition. On the other hand, evaporation occurs when there is a liquid to a gas phase transition.
In layman, Evaporation is the reverse of Condensation. Additionally, the principal difference between evaporation and condensation is that evaporation is a cooling process. While, on the other hand, condensation is a warming process.
Condensation Process: A warming phenomena?
According to the general guidelines of molecular theory, when we cool down the gas, the pressure of the gas increases drastically. Because of that, the force of attraction between the particle or molecules becomes too strong. Hence, as a result, a gas transforms into its liquid state.
In other words, during the process of condensation, in order to change its phase from gas to its liquid form, a gas (say vapor) has to release a sufficient amount of heat or energy to its surroundings. Hence increasing the temperature of the surroundings.
In layman, when liquid (say water) condenses, it releases heat or energy, therefore, warms the environment. I mean, that’s why the physics of condensation comes under the category of exothermic process.
Editor’s Choice: Endothermic vs Exothermic – What’s the Difference?
If you think, you can’t relate to condensation examples in daily life. Well, here is your chance to think again…!!!
- Fog is the air
- Sweating of cold drinks
- Fogs on the windshield
- Clouds in the sky
- Formation of the water cycle
- In power generation
- In thermal management
- Water desalination projects
- Condensation in air conditioning
- Dew on the Grass
- Steamy mirror in your bathroom
- Condensation in water preservation
- Visible Breadth During Winter, etc.
Factors that Affect Condensation
There are numerous factors that affect the rate of condensation. Some of them are listed below!
- The internal and external temperature difference
- Room temperature
- Outside the room temperature
- Content of water vapor in the air, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Condensation?
Ans. In science, Condensation is a type of phase transition during which a matter changes from gaseous to its liquid form.
2. What is the evaporation rate of water?
Ans. The primary difference between evaporation and condensation is that evaporation is a cooling process. On the contrary, condensation is a warming process.
3. Is condensation a physical or chemical change?
Ans. Condensation is definitely a physical change where a substance in its gaseous state changes to its liquid state due to the loss of energy in the form of heat released to the external environment.