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Difference between Liquefaction & Condensation

  1. Sep 6, 2011 #1
    What is the difference between Liquefaction & Condensation, although both deal with change of state from gas to liquid?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 6, 2011 #2


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    Condensation deals with changing from a gas to a liquid. Liquefaction can refer to a gas changing to a liquid or a solid changing to a liquid. It is not specific.
  4. Sep 6, 2011 #3
    Liquefaction refers to the change of phase from a gas to a liquid. Condensation refers to the change of phase from a gas to either a liquid or a solid. When ice crystals condense out of humid air it is just as much a process of condensation as when water droplets condense out of humid air.

    The space "occupied" by a water droplet or an ice crystal is approximately a thousandfold less than the space "occupied" by the water vapor at NTP. Thus the use of the term "condensation".
  5. Sep 6, 2011 #4


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    Not true; liquefaction is any phase turning into a liquid. Condensation is only a gas turning into a liquid. A gas turning into a solid is deposition.
  6. Sep 6, 2011 #5


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    Per wikipedia: In physics, to liquefy (sometimes spelled liquify) means to turn something into the liquid state.

    Also per wiki: In physics, chemistry, and genetic engineering
    Liquefaction is referred to as liquefaction of gases, the process of condensing a gas into a liquid. Liquefaction can be a change from a gas to a liquid through condensation, usually by cooling, or a change from a solid to a liquid through melting, usually by heating or by grinding and blending with another liquid to induce dissolution.

    Condensation: Condensation is the change of the physical state of matter from gaseous phase into liquid phase, and is the reverse of evaporation.[1] When the transition happens from the gaseous phase into the solid phase directly, the change is called deposition.
  7. Sep 6, 2011 #6
  8. Sep 7, 2011 #7
    I thought liquefaction was when an earthquake made the ground break up. Guess the words have multiple meanings.
  9. Sep 7, 2011 #8
    That sounds more convincing.....thanks for the reply guys
  10. Sep 7, 2011 #9
    I refer you to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_vapor

    In atmospheric physics, "vaporization" refers to both the evaporation of liquid water and the sublimation of solid ice. Conversely, "condensation" refers to both the liquefaction of water vapor and also its deposition as ice. Since the two processes are often taking place simultaneously, it is useful to have a term that covers both. "Condensation" is it.

    As an example, it is common to speak of high-elevation contrails as being composed of "condensates", even though they are almost entirely composed of ice-crystals.

    I am not qualified to comment on whether this usage is common with gases other than water vapor.
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