What Is the Process of Condensation?

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.

Condensation occurs when vapor is cooled or compressed beyond its saturation limit. This limit is when the molecular density of a gas phase reaches its maximal threshold. A condenser is a device that collects, cools or compresses vapor in order to induce a liquid state. Condensation is crucial to the process of distillation and is widely used in numerous scientific and industrial applications. Air wells and fog fences utilize condensation to generate large quantities of water suitable for human consumption.

Condensation is the process through which cloud formation occurs. Condensation also caused ground-level fog and the water drips that form on the outside of glasses and other surfaces colder than their surrounding environment. Clouds that form through condensation are an intricate and critical component of the environment that play an essential role in the water cycle.