The Info List - Vapor

In physics a vapor (American) or vapour (British) is a substance in the gas phase at a temperature lower than its critical temperature,[1] which means that the vapor can be condensed to a liquid by increasing the pressure on it without reducing the temperature. A vapor is different from an aerosol.[2] An aerosol is a suspension of tiny particles of liquid, solid, or both within a gas.[2] For example, water has a critical temperature of 647 K (374 °C; 705 °F), which is the highest temperature at which liquid water can exist. In the atmosphere at ordinary temperatures, therefore, gaseous water (known as water vapor) will condense into a liquid if its partial pressure is increased sufficiently. A vapor may co-exist with a liquid (or a solid). When this is true, the two phases will be in equilibrium, and the gas-partial pressure will be equal to the equilibrium vapor pressure of the liquid (or solid).[1]


1 Properties 2 Vapor
pressure 3 Examples 4 Measuring vapor 5 See also 6 References


The vapor-liquid critical point in a pressure-temperature phase diagram is at the high-temperature extreme of the liquid–gas phase boundary. (The dotted green line gives the anomalous behaviour of water.)

refers to a gas phase at a temperature where the same substance can also exist in the liquid or solid state, below the critical temperature of the substance. (For example, water has a critical temperature of 374 °C (647 K), which is the highest temperature at which liquid water can exist.) If the vapor is in contact with a liquid or solid phase, the two phases will be in a state of equilibrium. The term gas refers to a compressible fluid phase. Fixed gases are gases for which no liquid or solid can form at the temperature of the gas, such as air at typical ambient temperatures. A liquid or solid does not have to boil to release a vapor. Vapor
is responsible for the familiar processes of cloud formation and condensation. It is commonly employed to carry out the physical processes of distillation and headspace extraction from a liquid sample prior to gas chromatography. The constituent molecules of a vapor possess vibrational, rotational, and translational motion. These motions are considered in the kinetic theory of gases. Vapor
pressure[edit] Main article: Vapor

Liquid–vapor equilibrium

If the vapor pressure exceeds the equilibrium value, it becomes supersaturated and condenses on any available nucleation sites e. g. particles of dust. This principle is used in cloud chambers, where particles of radiation are visualized because they nucleate formation of water droplets.

The vapor pressure is the equilibrium pressure from a liquid or a solid at a specific temperature. The equilibrium vapor pressure of a liquid or solid is not affected by the amount of contact with the liquid or solid interface. The normal boiling point of a liquid is the temperature at which the vapor pressure is equal to normal atmospheric pressure.[1] For two-phase systems (e.g., two liquid phases), the vapor pressure of the individual phases are equal. In the absence of stronger inter-species attractions between like-like or like-unlike molecules, the vapor pressure follows Raoult's law, which states that the partial pressure of each component is the product of the vapor pressure of the pure component and its mole fraction in the mixture. The total vapor pressure is the sum of the component partial pressures.[3] Examples[edit]

Water vapor
Water vapor
is responsible for humidity

Perfumes contain chemicals that vaporize at different temperatures and at different rate in scent accords, known as notes. Atmospheric water vapor is found near the earth's surface, and may condense into small liquid droplets and form meteorological phenomena, such as fog, mist, and haar. Mercury-vapor lamps and sodium vapor lamps produce light from atoms in excited states. Flammable liquids do not burn when ignited.[4] It is the vapor cloud above the liquid that will burn if the vapor's concentration is between the lower flammable limit (LFL) and upper flammable limit (UFL), of the flammable liquid. E-Cigarettes
allow users to inhale "e-liquid" aerosol/vapor, rather than cigarette smoke.[2]

Measuring vapor[edit] Since it is in the gas phase, the amount of vapor present is quantified by the partial pressure of the gas. Also, vapors obey the barometric formula in a gravitational field, just as conventional atmospheric gases do. See also[edit]

Look up vapor or vapour in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Dilution (equation) Evaporation Henry's law Vapor
trail Vaporizer (other)


^ a b c R. H. Petrucci, W. S. Harwood, and F. G. Herring, General Chemistry, Prentice-Hall, 8th ed. 2002, p. 483–86. ^ a b c Cheng, T. (2014). "Chemical evaluation of electronic cigarettes". Tobacco Control. 23 (Supplement 2): ii11–ii17. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2013-051482. ISSN 0964-4563. PMC 3995255 . PMID 24732157.  ^ Thomas Engel and Philip Reid, Physical Chemistry, Pearson Benjamin-Cummings, 2006, p.194 ^ Ferguson, Lon H.; Janicak, Dr Christopher A. (2005-09-01). Fundamentals of Fire Protection for the Safety Professional. Government Institutes. ISBN 9781591919605. 

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States of matter (list)


Baryonic matter

Solid Liquid Gas
/ Vapor Plasma

Low energy

Bose–Einstein condensate Fermionic condensate Degenerate matter Quantum Hall Rydberg matter Rydberg polaron Strange matter Superfluid Supersolid Photonic matter

High energy

QCD matter Lattice QCD Quark–gluon plasma Color-glass condensate Supercritical fluid

Other states

Colloid Glass Crystal Liquid
crystal Time crystal Quantum spin liquid Exotic matter Programmable matter Dark matter Antimatter Magnetically ordered

Antiferromagnet Ferrimagnet Ferromagnet

String-net liquid Superglass


Boiling Boiling
point Condensation Critical line Critical point Crystallization Deposition Evaporation Flash evaporation Freezing Chemical ionization Ionization Lambda point Melting Melting
point Recombination Regelation Saturated fluid Sublimation Supercooling Triple point Vaporization Vitrification


Enthalpy of fusion Enthalpy of sublimation Enthalpy of vaporization Latent heat Latent internal energy Trouton's ratio Volatility


Binodal Compressed fluid Cooling curve Equation of state Leidenfrost effect Macroscopic quantum phenomena Mpemba effect Order and disorder (physics) Spinodal Superconductivity Superheated vapor Superheating Thermo-dielectric effect

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