What Does "sublimation" Mean in Science?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 26, 2020 10:11:20 PM ET

Sublimation is the scientific process in which solids are changed to gases without passing through the liquid phase. Sublimation occurs when temperatures and pressures are below the triple point. The triple point is the temperature and pressure at which substances can coexist in solid, liquid and vapor forms.

An example of sublimation is dry ice changing from a solid into carbon dioxide vapor at room temperature. Sublimation also occurs in nature, especially in high-altitude areas such as Mount Everest. The combination of low air pressure, intense sunlight and cold temperatures causes snow and ice to vaporize without turning into liquid.