Chemistry » Liquids and Solids » Phase Diagrams

Summarizing Phase Diagrams

Key Concepts and Summary

Phase transitions are processes that convert matter from one physical state into another. There are six phase transitions between the three phases of matter. Melting, vaporization, and sublimation are all endothermic processes, requiring an input of heat to overcome intermolecular attractions.

The reciprocal transitions of freezing, condensation, and deposition are all exothermic processes, involving heat as intermolecular attractive forces are established or strengthened. The temperatures at which phase transitions occur are determined by the relative strengths of intermolecular attractions and are, therefore, dependent on the chemical identity of the substance.

Key Equations

  • \(P=A{e}^{-\text{Δ}{H}_{\text{vap}}\text{/}RT}\)
  • \(\text{ln}\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}P=-\frac{\text{Δ}{H}_{\text{vap}}}{RT}\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}+\text{ln}\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}A\)
  • \(\text{ln}\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}\left(\frac{{P}_{2}}{{P}_{1}}\right)\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}=\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}\frac{\text{Δ}{H}_{\text{vap}}}{R}\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}\left(\frac{1}{{T}_{1}}\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}-\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}\frac{1}{{T}_{2}}\right)\)


critical point

temperature and pressure above which a gas cannot be condensed into a liquid

phase diagram

pressure-temperature graph summarizing conditions under which the phases of a substance can exist

supercritical fluid

substance at a temperature and pressure higher than its critical point; exhibits properties intermediate between those of gaseous and liquid states

triple point

temperature and pressure at which the vapor, liquid, and solid phases of a substance are in equilibrium

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