Q:

What is a phase change?

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Quick Answer

A phase change, also known as a phase transition, is a transformation in the physical state of a certain sample of matter. The phrase is most commonly used to describe the transition of a material between solid, liquid, gaseous and plasma states.

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These phase changes are transitions in the thermodynamic states of matter propelled by changes in temperature and pressure. The most easily identified example of a material undergoing phase change is a block of ice melting into water and subsequently evaporating as steam while temperature rises. Different materials have different points of temperature or pressure at which they will undergo a phase change. For water, the point at which the solid form is differentiated from liquid is 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you convert a liquid to a solid?

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    A liquid is converted to a solid through the phase transition of freezing. All materials have a specific freezing point at which the kinetic energy is low enough for the phase transition to occur. When the temperature is lowered below the freezing point, a liquid is converted to a solid.

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  • Q:

    What is it called when a liquid changes to a solid?

    A:

    The phase change of a liquid to a solid is referred to as either solidification or freezing. When the temperature of a substance is lowered below the substance's freezing point, the substance goes through a phase change from a liquid to a solid.

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  • Q:

    What is the normal phase of iron?

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    The normal phase of iron is as a lustrous, gray, solid metal. Its melting point is 2800 degrees Fahrenheit, and its density is 7874 kg m-3. Like many metals, it is able to be hammered into thin sheets and pulled into wire.

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  • Q:

    What are some exothermic and endothermic phase changes?

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    Sublimation, when a solid transforms into a gas, is an endothermic phrase change, while deposition, when a gas transforms to a solid, is an exothermic phase change. There are a total of six phase changes in matter, and three are endothermic and three are exothermic. An endothermic phase change absorbs heat or energy, while an exothermic phase change releases heat or energy, states the Washington University Department of Chemistry.

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