Q:

Can a solid turn into a gas?

A:

Quick Answer

A solid can turn directly into a gas through a process called sublimation. In this instance, the solid vaporizes without going through the intermediary liquid stage. For example, in the water cycle, this would involve snow or ice turning directly into water vapor without going through the melting process. The opposite process, in which vapor changes into ice, is known as deposition.

Continue Reading
Can a solid turn into a gas?
Credit: PASIEKA Science Photo Library Getty Images

Full Answer

It is often difficult to observe sublimation. If you want to conduct an experiment, hang a wet towel outside on a day when the temperature is below freezing. After a period of time, the ice in the shirt disappears. Another way to view sublimation is to take a look at "dry ice." This material is really carbon dioxide which has been frozen, a process that takes place at a temperature of minus 109.3 F. When you expose "dry ice" to the air, it gives off a fog, which is really a blend of humid, cold air that appears when exposed to the warmer air. When the winds are dry and the humidity is low, sublimation happens more easily, particularly at higher altitudes, because the air pressure is at a lower level than it is closer to sea level.

Learn more about States of Matter

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the process of condensation?

    A:

    The process of condensation occurs when molecules of gas lose thermal energy which causes them to change into a liquid state. Condensation is a change in the physical state of matter and the process is the opposite of evaporation. The word condensation frequently refers to the water cycle, defining the change of state that occurs when water vapor condenses into a liquid after coming into contact with a colder surface or environment.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is it called when a gas turns into a liquid?

    A:

    Condensation is the name of the process through which gas turns into a liquid. Three common states of matter exist: solids, liquids and gases. Matter, however, can change its state with the addition or subtraction of energy. The energy is usually in the form of heat.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does gas become a liquid?

    A:

    The process of a gas changing to a liquid is called condensation, and for condensation to take place, the environment has to reach maximum vapor pressure, generally through a lowering of temperature in the case of the water cycle. Because pressure varies inversely with temperature, as temperature decreases, pressure goes up, causing the gas molecules to move with progressively less kinetic energy. Eventually, liquid vapor and droplets form, and the gas begins to condense.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the term for gas changing to a solid?

    A:

    When a gas changes to a solid, the process is known as deposition. Deposition is one of several phase changes, which are the acts of matter going from one state to another.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore