Evaporation vs Condensation (Tabular Form)

For the continuous movement of water on, below, or above the surface of the earth; two of the most important physical processes are evaporation and condensation.

Not to mention, there are some others too that are directly or indirectly responsible for the steady completion of the water cycle. But, due to the need for the topic, right now, we are only interested in the process of evaporation and condensation.

The primary difference between evaporation and condensation is that evaporation is a cooling process. While, on the other hand, condensation is a warming process.

Before going into the broad discussion, let me give you a short and crisp review of the two. Let’s dive right in!

 

Evaporation vs Condensation (Tabular Form)

  Evaporation Condensation
1. Evaporation is a physical process where liquid changes into a gaseous state. Condensation is a physical process where a gas changes into a liquid state.
2. The higher the temperature, the higher will be the rate of evaporation. The lower the temperature, the higher will be the rate of condensation.
3. This process occurs before a liquid reaches its boiling point. This process occurs before the gas reaches its freezing point.
4. Evaporation is a cooling process. Condensation is a warming process.
5. This process is an endothermic phenomenon. This process is an exothermic phenomenon.
6. Evaporation normally takes place at low altitudes. Condensation normally takes place at high altitudes.
7. Examples of evaporation include evaporative coolers, drying of wet clothes, etc. Examples of condensation include dew on the grass, visible breadth during winters, etc.

From the above evaporation vs condensation tabular form, you got the exact overview of these two. However, in order to get to know them in detail, let us try to understand both of them in a detailed format. Keep reading!

 

What is evaporation?

drying-of-wet-clothes-evaporation-example
Drying of wet clothes under the sun is an example of evaporation. Credit: Freepik

Evaporation is a type of phase transition in which a substance directly changes from a liquid state to its gaseous state. Unlike boiling, according to the definition of evaporation, this process is a surface phenomenon.

Not to mention, the process of evaporation can occur at any temperature. In fact, the higher will be the temperature, the higher will be the rate of evaporation. Moreover, Evaporation generally takes place at low altitudes.

Well, have you ever wondered why during the process of evaporation, water (liquid) changes into vapor (gaseous state)?

According to the kinetic theory, when we heat a liquid, its pressure decreases drastically. Therefore, as a result, the force of attraction between molecules becomes weak. Hence, a liquid transforms into its gaseous state.

 

Evaporation is a cooling process, WHY?

In order to change its phase from liquid to gaseous state, a liquid (say water) has to absorb an ample amount of heat (energy) from its surrounding.

Must read, Four Fundamental States Of Matter Explained

Therefore, as a result, bringing down the temperature of the surrounding. Hence, causing the cooling effect.

In other words, when water evaporates, it takes up energy from its surroundings, therefore, cools the environment. That’s why evaporation comes in the realm of endothermic processes.

 

Examples of evaporation in daily life

There can be so many examples of evaporation that can be easily seen in our everyday life. Here is a list of some of the common examples or applications of evaporation.

  • Evaporation of sweat from our body
  • The smoke coming out of a cup of hot coffee
  • Food preservation
  • Evaporation of a nail paint remover
  • Evaporative Coolers
  • Drying of Wet clothes
  • Working of a pressure Cooker
  • formation of salt
  • Melting of ice cubes
  • Formation of the water cycle
  • Evaporation rate of ethanol
  • Drying of a wet floor
  • The process of distillation
  • Drying of river beds
  • Hairdryers
  • Ironing of clothes, etc.

 

What is condensation?

cold-breadth-during-winters-condensation-example
Cold breadth during winters is an example of condensation. Credit: RocketStock

Condensation is a type of phase transition in which a substance directly changes from a gaseous state to its liquid state. According to the definition of condensation, it can only take place on salt, hygroscopic nuclei-pollen grains, carbon particles, etc.

This process occurs before the gas reaches its freezing point. In fact, the lower the temperature, the higher will be the rate of condensation. Moreover, condensation generally takes place at high altitudes.

Well, have you ever wondered why during the process of condensation, vapor (gas) changes into water (liquid state)?

Again, according to the kinetic theory, when we cool down the gas, its pressure increases drastically. Therefore, as a result, the force of attraction between molecules becomes too strong. Hence, a gas transforms into its liquid state.

 

Condensation is a warming process, WHY?

According to the definition of condensation, in order to change its phase from gaseous to a liquid state, a gas (say vapor) has to release an ample amount of heat or energy to its surrounding.

Therefore, as a result, increasing the temperature of the surrounding. Hence, causing the warming effect.

In other words, when water condenses, it releases energy, therefore, warms the environment. That’s why condensation comes in the realm of exothermic processes.

 

Examples of condensation in daily life

There can be so many examples of condensation that can be easily seen in our everyday life. Here is a list of some of the common examples or applications of condensation.

  1. Formation of the water cycle
  2. Sweating of cold drinks
  3. Fogs on the windshield
  4. Clouds in the sky
  5. Fog is the air
  6. Condensation in air conditioning
  7. In power generation
  8. In thermal management
  9. Refrigeration
  10. Water desalination projects
  11. Dew on the Grass
  12. Visible Breadth During Winter
  13. Steamy mirror in your bathroom
  14. Condensation in water preservation, etc.

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I am a mechanical engineer by profession. Just because of my love for fundamental physics, I switched my carrier, and therefore I just completed my postgraduate degree in physics. Right now I am a loner (as like ever) and a Physics blogger too. My sole future goal is to do a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, especially in the field of cosmology. Because in my view, every part of physics comes within the range of cosmology. And I love traveling, especially the Sole one.

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