What is Condensation?

Condensation is the opposite of evaporation. In evaporation, a liquid changes into a gas of vapor. In condensation, a gas or vapor turns into liquid or solid form. This happens when it is cooled or compressed.

There are two important changes that take place when a gas condenses. The first is that the volume of the gas decreases when it turns into liquid state. The second is that heat is given off, which is called "heat of condensation".

When steam condenses to water, for every gram of water formed, 540 calories are released. Condensation is important in many ways in the world around us. When water vapor in the air is condensed, we have clouds.

Dew is formed when moisture-filled air comes in contact with a surface cooled to the right temperature. They moisture in the air condenses on the surface. You have probably noticed condensation taking place in front of your eyes when you looked at a glass of iced water in humid weather.

There was warm, moist air and as is struck the surface of the cold water the moisture in the air condensed on the outside of the glass. Sometimes vapor in the air can condense directly into solid form.

For example, in below freezing temperatures, vapor condenses into frost on the cold pipes of a refrigerator. Nature carries on a continuous process of evaporation and condensation. Millions of tons of water are evaporated every year from oceans and lakes and then are condensed as rain or snow.

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