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.Know More
Clouds, fog and the "sweat" that builds up on the outside of a glass with a cold drink are all examples of condensation. Molecules in the gaseous state have a more random arrangement than those in a liquid state. As the vapor pressure builds, the gas molecules are forced into a more structure arrangement. The slowing in motion leads to a release of heat, which drops the temperature even further.
As condensation continues, the water droplets adhere to one another. In a situation where someone's reading glasses are fogging up, the process stops fairly quickly. In a large cloud, the process continues, in many cases, often to the point where precipitation begins. The water at the bottom of a cloud begins to fall, sending water further on its way around the water cycle.Learn more about States of Matter
Gas is easier to compress than liquid because liquid must fit within a fixed volume, while gaseous molecules and atoms can spread out an infinite distance. The comparatively greater space available between gas molecules and atoms makes compression much simpler.Full Answer >
When a gas changes into a liquid, it undergoes a process called vaporization. When the state of matter of a substance changes, as it does during vaporization, it undergoes a phase change.Full Answer >
The water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle, describes the process of how water moves through Earth's environment. In general, water evaporates from oceans, then it condenses in the atmosphere as water vapor cools. When enough water gathers in clouds, it precipitates back to the Earth's surface as rain, hail, snow or sleet.Full Answer >
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 >