We explain what condensation is and under what conditions it occurs. Also, what is evaporation and reverse sublimation.

Condensation is observed when hot air collides with cold material.

What is condensation?

Condensation is a type of phase change or change ofState of aggregation Of the mattery. Specifically, it occurs when a gas becomes a liquid at a pressure close to the ambient pressure after losing heat energy. It generally occurs when thegas is a steam.

This process is the reverse side of evaporation o vaporization. Not to be confused with liquefaction, which is the transformation of a gas intoliquid by significantly increasing the pressure at which it is encountered.

Condensation occurs when a gas cools (loses heat) to its dew point, which can vary depending on the Pressure to which it is. The surface on which the gas condenses should have a surface temperature below the saturation temperature of the gas (i.e., the temperature to which it changes from liquid to gas phase).

Thus, the gas releases the retained heat and is deposited in the form of small droplets on the surface. This is why we feel so much more heat in a humid environment: the small drops of water that are deposited on our skin release the retained heat on it, thus being able to recover its liquid form.

Condensation can be reproduced artificially with the help of a device called a 'condenser'. In fact, condensation is part of the mechanism of separation of mixtures known as distillation.

Even so, the best example of this phenomenon is given in the nature and it is the very dew that we find in the plants, walls and glass exposed to the cold at night, in environments rich in humidity or on the surface of the bathroom mirror after taking a hot shower.


The opposite process to condensation is evaporation or vaporization, in which heat energy is introduced to matter in liquid state, until reaching itsBoiling point from which the liquid begins to turn into vapor.

This point varies depending on the nature of the liquid: that of the Water 100 ° C, and is also influenced by the pressure conditions at which this physical phenomenon.

Reverse sublimation

Frozen dew is a natural example of reverse sublimation.

Thesublimation and inverse sublimation are processes similar to evaporation and condensation, respectively, with the exception that the phase change of gaseous matter does not occur withliquid state, but with thesolid directly.

In sublimation, instead of converting a solid to a liquid and then a gas, a solid is transformed directly to a gas. In reverse sublimation, a solid is obtained directly from a gas, generally in the form of crystals. For this process to occur, very specific atmospheric pressure conditions are required.

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