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Condensation Definition

Condensation is when a gas turns into a liquid. For example, water vapor in the air condenses to form clouds in the sky.

View Lesson on Water Cycle (3-5 Version)
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Water Cycle (3-5 Version)

Fun Facts

  • As a cold glass of water sits on a table, water vapor from the air condenses into water droplets on the glass.
  • Dew forms close to the ground from condensed water vapor.
  • Fog is formed by water vapor condensing a little above the ground.

Why Do We Need To Know About Condensation

Learning about condensation helps us see how important it is for making things like dryers and other home devices work better. It’s also important in studying the environment, weather, and even making drinks through a process called distillation.

Understanding condensation is key for jobs in many areas, including making clean water or studying how water moves in nature. Did you know clouds are made of billions of tiny water droplets? It’s important for students thinking about these kinds of jobs to know about condensation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do we know there is water vapor in the air?
Some evidence that there is water vapor in the air include clouds, feeling moisture on our skin on a humid day, and seeing droplets form on the outside surface of cold drinks (condensation).
What causes water to change from a vapor to a liquid, or a liquid to a solid?
Water changes form in response to changing temperatures. When the temperature becomes colder, water vapor becomes liquid water. When the temperature becomes warmer, liquid water becomes water vapor.
Does water become cleaner when it evaporates into a water vapor? Why or Why not?
Yes, generally, water becomes cleaner when it evaporates. Particles in water typically do not evaporate into vapor when water does, so particles are left behind when water vapor rises.
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