What phase changes are exothermic & endothermic?

Written by eric moll
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What phase changes are exothermic & endothermic?
Boiling water is an endothermic reaction. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

There are three primary phases of matter: solid, liquid and gas. A solid becoming liquid is called melting or fusion. A solid becoming gaseous is called sublimation. A liquid becoming solid is called freezing. A liquid changing to gas is called boiling or evaporation. A gas changing into a solid is called deposition, and a gas changing into a liquid is called condensation. Half of these are endothermic, meaning they absorb heat from their surroundings. The others are exothermic, meaning they release heat.

Melting: Solid to Liquid

Melting, or fusion as it is sometimes called, is an endothermic reaction.

Sublimation: Solid to Gas

Sublimation is an endothermic reaction.

Boiling/Evaporation: Liquid to Gas

The transition from liquid phase to gas phase is an endothermic reaction.

Freezing: Liquid to Solid

Freezing is an exothermic reaction.

Condensation: Gas to Liquid

Condensation is an exothermic reaction.

Deposition: Gas to Solid

Deposition is an exothermic reaction.

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