We're excited to announce that we're changing our name to Study.com! Learn more
Copyright

Phase Change: Evaporation, Condensation, Freezing, Melting, Sublimation & Deposition

  • 0:09 Changes of Phase
  • 1:09 Examples
  • 1:49 Phase Change Diagram
  • 3:32 The Energy Involved
  • 4:32 Lesson Summary
Create An Account
To Start This Course Today
Used by over 10 million students worldwide
Create An Account
Try it free for 5 days
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Amy Meyers

Amy holds a Master of Science. She has taught science at the high school and college levels.

Substances on Earth can exist in one of four phases, but mostly, they exist in one of three: solid, liquid or gas. Learn the six changes of state: freezing, melting, condensation, vaporization, sublimation and deposition.

Changes of Phase

Water vapor turning to frost is an example of deposition
Deposition Leaves

There are four states of matter in the universe: plasma, gas, liquid and solid. But matter on Earth exists mostly in three distinct phases: gas, liquid and solid. A phase is a distinctive form of a substance, and matter can change among the phases. It may take extreme temperature, pressure or energy, but all matter can be changed.

There are six distinct changes of phase which happens to different substances at different temperatures. The six changes are:

  • Freezing: the substance changes from a liquid to a solid.
  • Melting: the substance changes back from the solid to the liquid.
  • Condensation: the substance changes from a gas to a liquid.
  • Vaporization: the substance changes from a liquid to a gas.
  • Sublimation: the substance changes directly from a solid to a gas without going through the liquid phase.
  • Deposition: the substance changes directly from a gas to a solid without going through the liquid phase.

Examples of Phase Change

I'm sure you know what most of these phases look like. Freezing is when liquid water freezes into ice cubes. Melting is when those ice cubes melt. Condensation is when dew forms on grass in the morning. Vaporization is when water boils and turns into steam. Deposition is one you may not know, but this happens when water vapor goes directly to freezing, like when there is frost on a cold winter morning. An example of sublimation happens when dry ice turns directly into gas. Gas can also change into a plasma. In order to do this you have to add an enormous amount of energy to the gas in order to free up the electrons from the atoms.

Phase Change Diagram

Sublimation occurs when dry ice turns into gas
Sublimation Dry Ice

Let's take a look at phase change as it pertains to water. This will apply to all substances, but we are all most familiar with water. Phase change is often shown in a diagram like this one.

When a substance is in a solid state, it can absorb a lot of energy in the form of heat until it hits its melting point. Think about snow outside. Once snow hits the ground, it stays there, whether it is -50 degrees F outside or all the way up to 32 degrees F.

The snow can absorb energy all the way up until it hits its melting point of 32 degrees F. This is the diagonal line at stage I on the graph. Once a substance hits its melting point, it is a combination of solid and liquid for a while, as you can see by the flat line on the graph at stage II.

At a certain point, all of the solid has turned into liquid. Now the liquid can absorb energy in the form of heat for quite a while until it gets to its boiling point. Think about putting a pot of water on the stove and waiting for it to boil. You start with the water at whatever temperature it came out of your tap, then you add heat for quite a while. The water gets hotter and hotter, absorbing more and more heat, but it is still all in the liquid stage. This is Stage III on the graph.

To unlock this lesson you must be an Education Portal Member.
Create your account

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Education Portal

Become an Education Portal member and start learning now.
Become a Member

Already a member? Log In

Start Your Free Trial To Take This Quiz

As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 8,500 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.

Free 5-day trial
It only takes a few minutes to set up and you can cancel at any time.
Already registered? Login here for access

Practice Chapter Exam


Practice Final Exam

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 100 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,900 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Education Portal has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.