Phase Changes of Matter: Types & Examples

Phase Changes of Matter: Types & Examples
Coming up next: Principal Quantum Number: Definition & Example

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 Definition Of Phase…
  • 1:00 Types Of Phase Changes
  • 1:40 Examples Of Phase Changes
  • 2:50 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Derrick Arrington

Derrick has taught biology and chemistry at both the high school and college level. He has a master's degree in science education.

We are surrounded by matter. In this lesson, you will learn about phase changes of matter, and the types of phase changes that occur so you can recognize them in the future.

Definition of Phase Changes of Matter

By definition, matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. Matter exists as solids, liquids, gases, and plasma phases or states. A solid is any matter in a form that has a definite shape and volume. This means that no matter where you put a solid, its shape and volume will stay the same. A liquid is any matter that has a definite volume but no definite shape. This means that liquids retain their volume but take the shape of the container that is holding them. A gas is any matter that does not have a fixed shape or volume. Gases take the shape of their container and can expand or contract to change their volume. Plasma is matter that exists in the form of high energy charged particles.

A phase change is a transition of matter from one state to another. Phase changes occur regularly in nature and can be conducted by people. The phase in which matter exists is determined by the pressure and temperature of its surroundings. By manipulating the pressure and temperature, you can change the phase of the matter.

Types of Phase Changes

There are a total of eight phase changes that can occur. Let's look at what happens in each change.

  • Freezing occurs when a liquid changes to a solid.
  • Melting occurs when a solid changes directly to a liquid.
  • Sublimation occurs when a solid changes directly to a gas.
  • Deposition occurs when a gas changes directly to a solid.
  • Condensation is when a gas changes directly to a liquid.
  • Vaporization happens when a liquid changes directly to a gas.
  • Ionization occurs when a gas changes to plasma.
  • Recombination occurs when plasma changes to gas.

This diagram allows you to visualize what happens with each phase change.
A diagram that illustrates phase changes.

Examples of Phase Changes

Some phase changes are more common and easier for us to visualize. For example, you have probably witnessed freezing, melting, and vaporization just by making ice, melting ice, and boiling water. Condensation often occurs on the outside of cold beverage containers. This is when the humid air changes directly to a liquid on the surface of the container.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support