Is condensation a physical or chemical change?

1 Answer
May 22, 2017

Condensation is a physical change where a substance in the gaseous state changes to its liquid state as a result of energy loss at the molecular level due to heat loss or applied pressure.


Condensation is not a chemical change because no new compounds result, and the process can be reversed by adding energy or removing the pressure.

The condensation of water vapor is the most common example because it is happening around us on a continuous basis. Water vapor condenses as it rises in the atmosphere to appear as clouds, rain, snow, sleet, or hail. Water also condenses due to pressure changes in the atmosphere such as moving air masses or objects like airplanes causing turbulence.

Chillers and air conditioners depend on the condensation of gases to a liquid and then re-evaporation back to the gaseous state to remove heat from buildings and houses.

There are some pictures here: