What is condensation?

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Condensation is a process that converts a gas substance into liquid form. The substance that undergoes condensation is chemically the same with only its physical state changing. The process involved in condensation is often referred to as the reverse of evaporation wherein liquids turn to gas. At certain temperatures and pressures, various chemicals may transform from its original gaseous state to a liquid state.

A basic explanation of the condensation process is through the process involving rain and water vapor. Before it rains, water vapor basically goes up into the air to accumulate and become clouds. Water vapor is in gaseous state and at a certain level of accumulation in the air, this gas form of water will turn into liquid in the form of rain. Water from the rain clouds will then fall back into the Earth and become part the same cycle that results to condensation all over again. The process by which water vapor turns to liquid involves cooler temperatures. With the drop in temperature, the water vapor in gas form will be compressed. This compression will cause the molecules to stay closer with each other. Molecules that are bunched together become more compact and therefore forming droplets of water which are now in liquid form.

The process of condensation is also important in industries that use distillation of chemicals or substances. Chemical components for example may be separated or isolated through the distillation process which makes use of condensation as one of its primary events. Chemical experiments also use condensation in examining and/or isolating different components of substances. Being a natural process, condensation is sometimes considered an unwanted process because of its effect on property. In the case of buildings and paintings for example, the conversion of damp air into liquid would mean possible unwanted extra dampness and formation of mold.