Vaporization (or vaporisation) of an element or compound is a phase transition from the liquid phase to vapor.[1] There are two types of vaporization: evaporation and boiling. Evaporation is a surface phenomenon, whereas boiling is a bulk phenomenon.

Phase change - en
This diagram shows the nomenclature for the different phase transitions.

Evaporation is a phase transition from the liquid phase to vapor (a state of substance below critical temperature) that occurs at temperatures below the boiling temperature at a given pressure. Evaporation occurs on the surface. Evaporation only occurs when the partial pressure of vapor of a substance is less than the equilibrium vapor pressure. For example, due to constantly decreasing or negative pressures, vapor pumped out of a solution will leave behind a cryogenic liquid.

Boiling is also a phase transition from the liquid phase to gas phase, but boiling is the formation of vapor as bubbles of vapor below the surface of the liquid. Boiling occurs when the equilibrium vapor pressure of the substance is greater than or equal to the environmental pressure. The temperature at which boiling occurs is the boiling temperature, or boiling point. The boiling point varies with the pressure of the environment.

Sublimation is a direct phase transition from the solid phase to the gas phase, skipping the intermediate liquid phase. Because it does not involve the liquid phase, it is not a form of vaporization.

The term vaporization has also been used in a colloquial or hyperbolic way to refer to the physical destruction of an object that is exposed to intense heat or explosive force, where the object is actually blasted into small pieces rather than literally converted to gaseous form. Examples of this usage include the "vaporization" of the uninhabited Marshall Island of Elugelab in the 1952 Ivy Mike thermonuclear test.[2]

At the moment of a large enough meteor or comet impact, bolide detonation, a nuclear fission, thermonuclear fusion, or theoretical antimatter weapon detonation, a flux of so many gamma ray, x-ray, ultraviolet, visual light and heat photons strikes matter in a such brief amount of time (a great number of high-energy photons, many overlapping in the same physical space) that all molecules lose their atomic bonds and "fly apart". All atoms lose their electron shells and become positively charged ions, in turn emitting photons of a slightly lower energy than they had absorbed. All such matter becomes a gas of nuclei and electrons which rise into the air due to the extremely high temperature or bond to each other as they cool. The matter vaporized this way is immediately a plasma in a state of maximum entropy and this state steadily reduces via the factor of passing time due to natural processes in the biosphere and the effects of physics at normal temperatures and pressures.

A similar process occurs during ultrashort pulse Laser ablation, where the high flux of incoming electromagnetic radiation strips the target material's surface of electrons, leaving positively charged atoms which undergo a coulomb explosion.[3]


  1. ^ Britannica: Vaporization Archived 2009-11-02 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ PBS American Experience "Mike" Test Archived 2017-02-03 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ GmbH, Dirk Müller, Lumera Laser. "Picosecond Lasers for High-Quality Industrial Micromachining". Retrieved 2018-02-19.
Phase transitions of matter ()
basic To
Solid Liquid Gas Plasma
From Solid Melting Sublimation
Liquid Freezing Vaporization
Gas Deposition Condensation Ionization
Plasma Recombination

Ablation is removal of material from the surface of an object by vaporization, chipping, or other erosive processes. Examples of ablative materials are described below, and include spacecraft material for ascent and atmospheric reentry, ice and snow in glaciology, biological tissues in medicine and passive fire protection materials.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also called prostate enlargement, is a noncancerous increase in size of the prostate gland. Symptoms may include frequent urination, trouble starting to urinate, weak stream, inability to urinate, or loss of bladder control. Complications can include urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and chronic kidney problems.The cause is unclear. Risk factors include a family history, obesity, type 2 diabetes, not enough exercise, and erectile dysfunction. Medications like pseudoephedrine, anticholinergics, and calcium channel blockers may worsen symptoms. The underlying mechanism involves the prostate pressing on the urethra thereby making it difficult to pass urine out of the bladder. Diagnosis is typically based on symptoms and examination after ruling out other possible causes.Treatment options including lifestyle changes, medications, a number of procedures, and surgery. In those with mild symptoms weight loss, exercise, and decreasing caffeine intake is recommended. In those with more significant symptoms medications may include alpha blockers such as terazosin or 5α-reductase inhibitors such as finasteride. Surgical removal of part of the prostate may be carried out in those who do not improve with other measures. Alternative medicine, such as saw palmetto, does not appear to help.About 105 million people are affected globally. BPH typically begins after the age of 40. Half of males age 50 and over are affected. After the age of 80 about 90% of males are affected. Although prostate specific antigen levels may be elevated in males with BPH, the condition does not increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Boiling point

The boiling point of a substance is the temperature at which the vapor pressure of a liquid equals the pressure surrounding the liquid and the liquid changes into a vapor.

The boiling point of a liquid varies depending upon the surrounding environmental pressure. A liquid in a partial vacuum has a lower boiling point than when that liquid is at atmospheric pressure. A liquid at high pressure has a higher boiling point than when that liquid is at atmospheric pressure. For example, water boils at 100 °C (212 °F) at sea level, but at 93.4 °C (200.1 °F) at 1,905 metres (6,250 ft) altitude. For a given pressure, different liquids will boil at different temperatures.

The normal boiling point (also called the atmospheric boiling point or the atmospheric pressure boiling point) of a liquid is the special case in which the vapor pressure of the liquid equals the defined atmospheric pressure at sea level, 1 atmosphere. At that temperature, the vapor pressure of the liquid becomes sufficient to overcome atmospheric pressure and allow bubbles of vapor to form inside the bulk of the liquid. The standard boiling point has been defined by IUPAC since 1982 as the temperature at which boiling occurs under a pressure of 1 bar.The heat of vaporization is the energy required to transform a given quantity (a mol, kg, pound, etc.) of a substance from a liquid into a gas at a given pressure (often atmospheric pressure).

Liquids may change to a vapor at temperatures below their boiling points through the process of evaporation. Evaporation is a surface phenomenon in which molecules located near the liquid's edge, not contained by enough liquid pressure on that side, escape into the surroundings as vapor. On the other hand, boiling is a process in which molecules anywhere in the liquid escape, resulting in the formation of vapor bubbles within the liquid.

Cannabis consumption

Cannabis consumption refers to the variety of ways cannabis is consumed, among which inhalation (smoking and vaporizing) and ingestion are most common. Salves and absorption through the skin (transdermal) are increasingly common in medical uses, both of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids. Each method leads to subtly different psychoactive effects due to the THC and other chemicals being activated, and then consumed through different administration routes. It is generally considered that smoking, which includes combustion toxins, comes on quickly but lasts for a short period of time, while eating delays the onset of effect but the duration of effect is typically longer. In a 2007 ScienceDaily report of research conducted at the University of California–San Francisco, researchers reported that vaporizer users experience the same biological effect, but without the toxins associated with smoking.


Electrosurgery is the application of a high-frequency (radio frequency) alternating polarity, electrical current to biological tissue as a means to cut, coagulate, desiccate, or fulgurate tissue. (These terms are used in specific ways for this methodology—see below). Its benefits include the ability to make precise cuts with limited blood loss. Electrosurgical devices are frequently used during surgical operations helping to prevent blood loss in hospital operating rooms or in outpatient procedures.In electrosurgical procedures, the tissue is heated by an electric current. Although electrical devices that create a heated probe may be used for the cauterization of tissue in some applications, electrosurgery is refers to a different method than electrocautery. Electrocautery uses heat conduction from a probe heated to a high temperature by a direct electrical current (much in the manner of a soldering iron). This may be accomplished by direct current from dry-cells in a penlight-type device.

Electrosurgery, by contrast, uses radio frequency (RF) alternating current to heat the tissue by RF induced intracellular oscillation of ionized molecules that result in an elevation of intracellular temperature. When the intracellular temperature reaches 60 degrees C, instantaneous cell death occurs. If tissue is heated to 60–99 degrees C, the simultaneous processes of tissue desiccation (dehydration) and protein coagulation occur. If the intracellular temperature rapidly reaches 100 degrees C, the intracellular contents undergo a liquid to gas conversion, massive volumetric expansion, and resulting explosive vaporization.

Appropriately applied with electrosurgical forceps, desiccation and coagulation result in the occlusion of blood vessels and halting of bleeding. While the process is technically a process of electrocoagulation, the term "electrocautery" is sometimes loosely, nontechnically and incorrectly used to describe it. The process of vaporization can be used to ablate tissue targets, or, by linear extension, used to transect or cut tissue. While the processes of vaporization/ cutting and desiccation/coagulation are best accomplished with relatively low voltage, continuous or near continuous waveforms, the process of fulguration is performed with relatively high voltage modulated waveforms. Fulguration is a superficial type of coagulation, typically created by arcing modulated high voltage current to tissue that is rapidly desiccated and coagulated. The continued application of current to this highly impedant tissue results in resistive heating and the achievement of very high temperatures—enough to cause breakdown of the organic molecules to sugars and even carbon, thus the dark textures from carbonization of tissue.

Diathermy is used by some as a synonym for electrosurgery but in other contexts diathermy means dielectric heating, produced by rotation of molecular dipoles in a high frequency electromagnetic field. This effect is most widely used in microwave ovens or some tissue ablative devices which operate at gigahertz frequencies. Lower frequencies, allowing for deeper penetration, are used in industrial processes.

RF electrosurgery is commonly used in virtually all surgical disciplines including dermatological, gynecological, cardiac, plastic, ocular, spine, ENT, maxillofacial, orthopedic, urological, neuro- and general surgical procedures as well as certain dental procedures.

RF electrosurgery is performed using a RF electrosurgical generator (also referred to as an electrosurgical unit or ESU) and a handpiece including one or two electrodes—a monopolar or bipolar instrument. All RF electrosurgery is bipolar so the difference between monopolar and bipolar instruments is that monopolar instruments comprise only one electrode while bipolar instruments include both electrodes in their design.

The monopolar instrument called an "active electrode" when energized, requires the application of another monopolar instrument called a "dispersive electrode" elsewhere on the patient's body that functions to 'defocus' or disperse the RF current thereby preventing thermal injury to the underlying tissue. This dispersive electrode is frequently and mistakenly called a "ground pad" or "neutral electrode". However virtually all currently available RF electrosurgical systems are designed to function with isolated circuits—the dispersive electrode is directly attached to the ESU, not to "ground". The same electrical current is transmitted across both the dispersive electrode and the active electrode, so it is not "neutral". The term "return electrode" is also technically incorrect since alternating electrical currents refer to alternating polarity, a circumstance that results in bidirectional flow across both electrodes in the circuit.

Bipolar instruments generally are designed with two "active" electrodes, such as a forceps for sealing blood vessels. However, the bipolar instrument can be designed such that one electrode is dispersive. The main advantage of bipolar instruments is that the only part of the patient included in the circuit is that which is between the two electrodes, a circumstance that eliminates the risk of current diversion and related adverse events. However, except for those devices designed to function in fluid, it is difficult to vaporize or cut tissue with bipolar instruments.

Enthalpy of vaporization

The enthalpy of vaporization, (symbol Hvap) also known as the (latent) heat of vaporization or heat of evaporation, is the amount of energy (enthalpy) that must be added to a liquid substance, to transform a quantity of that substance into a gas. The enthalpy of vaporization is a function of the pressure at which that transformation takes place.

The enthalpy of vaporization is often quoted for the normal boiling temperature of the substance; although tabulated values are usually corrected to 298 K, that correction is often smaller than the uncertainty in the measured value.

The heat of vaporization is temperature-dependent, though a constant heat of vaporization can be assumed for small temperature ranges and for reduced temperature T r {\displaystyle T_{r}} . The heat of vaporization diminishes with increasing temperature and it vanishes completely at a certain point called the critical temperature (). Above the critical temperature, the liquid and vapor phases are indistinguishable, and the substance is called a supercritical fluid.

Entropy of vaporization

The entropy of vaporization is the increase in entropy upon vaporization of a liquid. This is always positive, since the degree of disorder increases in the transition from a liquid in a relatively small volume to a vapor or gas occupying a much larger space. At standard pressure Po = 1 bar, the value is denoted as ΔSovap and normally expressed in J mol−1 K−1.

In a phase transition such as vaporization, both phases coexist in equilibrium, so the difference in Gibbs free energy is equal to zero.

where is the heat or enthalpy of vaporization. Since this is a thermodynamic equation, the symbol T refers to the absolute thermodynamic temperature, measured in kelvins (K). The entropy of vaporization is then equal to the heat of vaporization divided by the boiling point.

According to Trouton's rule, the entropy of vaporization (at standard pressure) of most liquids is about 85 to 88 J mol−1 K−1.


Evaporation is a type of vaporization that occurs on the surface of a liquid as it changes into the gas phase. The surrounding gas must not be saturated with the evaporating substance. When the molecules of the liquid collide, they transfer energy to each other based on how they collide with each other. When a molecule near the surface absorbs enough energy to overcome the vapor pressure, it will escape and enter the surrounding air as a gas. When evaporation occurs, the energy removed from the vaporized liquid will reduce the temperature of the liquid, resulting in evaporative cooling.On average, only a fraction of the molecules in a liquid have enough heat energy to escape from the liquid. The evaporation will continue until an equilibrium is reached when the evaporation of the liquid is equal to its condensation. In an enclosed environment, a liquid will evaporate until the surrounding air is saturated.

Evaporation is an essential part of the water cycle. The sun (solar energy) drives evaporation of water from oceans, lakes, moisture in the soil, and other sources of water. In hydrology, evaporation and transpiration (which involves evaporation within plant stomata) are collectively termed evapotranspiration. Evaporation of water occurs when the surface of the liquid is exposed, allowing molecules to escape and form water vapor; this vapor can then rise up and form clouds. With sufficient energy, the liquid will turn into vapor.

Evaporative-pattern casting

Evaporative-pattern casting is a type of casting process that uses a pattern made from a material that will evaporate when the molten metal is poured into the molding cavity. The most common evaporative-pattern material used is polystyrene foam.The two major evaporative-pattern casting processes are:

Lost-foam casting

Full-mold castingThe main difference is that lost-foam casting uses an unbonded sand and full-mold casting uses a bonded sand (or green sand). Because this difference is quite small there is much overlap in the terminology. Non-proprietary terms that have been used to describe these processes include: cavityless casting, evaporative foam casting, foam vaporization casting, lost pattern casting, the castral process, and expanded polystyrene molding. Proprietary terms included Styro-cast, Foam Cast, Replicast, Policast. and Lost Foam Sintered Shell (LFSS)

Flash evaporation

Flash (or partial) evaporation is the partial vapor that occurs when a saturated liquid stream undergoes a reduction in pressure by passing through a throttling valve or other throttling device. This process is one of the simplest unit operations. If the throttling valve or device is located at the entry into a pressure vessel so that the flash evaporation occurs within the vessel, then the vessel is often referred to as a flash drum.If the saturated liquid is a single-component liquid (for example, liquid propane or liquid ammonia), a part of the liquid immediately "flashes" into vapor. Both the vapor and the residual liquid are cooled to the saturation temperature of the liquid at the reduced pressure. This is often referred to as "auto-refrigeration" and is the basis of most conventional vapor compression refrigeration systems.

If the saturated liquid is a multi-component liquid (for example, a mixture of propane, isobutane and normal butane), the flashed vapor is richer in the more volatile components than is the remaining liquid.

Uncontrolled flash evaporation can result in a boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion (BLEVE).


Hypervelocity is very high velocity, approximately over 3,000 meters per second (6,700 mph, 11,000 km/h, 10,000 ft/s, or Mach 8.8). In particular, hypervelocity is velocity so high that the strength of materials upon impact is very small compared to inertial stresses. Thus, even metals behave like fluids under hypervelocity impact. Extreme hypervelocity results in vaporization of the impactor and target. For structural metals, hypervelocity is generally considered to be over 2,500 m/s (5,600 mph, 9,000 km/h, 8,200 ft/s, or Mach 7.3). Meteorite craters are also examples of hypervelocity impacts.

Laser ablation

Laser ablation or photoablation is the process of removing material from a solid (or occasionally liquid) surface by irradiating it with a laser beam. At low laser flux, the material is heated by the absorbed laser energy and evaporates or sublimates. At high laser flux, the material is typically converted to a plasma. Usually, laser ablation refers to removing material with a pulsed laser, but it is possible to ablate material with a continuous wave laser beam if the laser intensity is high enough. Excimer lasers of deep ultra-violet light are mainly used in photoablation; the wavelength of laser used in photoablation is approximately 200 nm.

Laser cutting

Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to cut materials, and is typically used for industrial manufacturing applications, but is also starting to be used by schools, small businesses, and hobbyists. Laser cutting works by directing the output of a high-power laser most commonly through optics. The [laser optics] and CNC (computer numerical control) are used to direct the material or the laser beam generated. A commercial laser for cutting materials involved a motion control system to follow a CNC or G-code of the pattern to be cut onto the material. The focused laser beam is directed at the material, which then either melts, burns, vaporizes away, or is blown away by a jet of gas, leaving an edge with a high-quality surface finish. Industrial laser cutters are used to cut flat-sheet material as well as structural and piping materials.

Latent heat

Latent heat is thermal energy released or absorbed, by a body or a thermodynamic system, during a constant-temperature process — usually a first-order phase transition.

Latent heat can be understood as heat energy in hidden form which is supplied or extracted to change the state of a substance without changing its temperature. Examples are latent heat of fusion and latent heat of vaporization involved in phase changes, i.e. a substance condensing or vaporizing at a specified temperature and pressure.The term was introduced around 1762 by British chemist Joseph Black. It is derived from the Latin latere (to lie hidden). Black used the term in the context of calorimetry where a heat transfer caused a volume change in a body while its temperature was constant.

In contrast to latent heat, sensible heat is a heat transfer that results in a temperature change in a body.


Perflenapent (INN/USAN), or perfluoropentane (PFP), is a fluorocarbon. It has several biomedical applications including: propellant for pressurized metered dose inhalers; gas core in microbubble ultrasound contrast agents; and occlusion therapy via the conversion of nanometer liquid droplets into micrometer sized gas microbubbles (acoustic droplet vaporization).

Smoking pipe

A smoking pipe is a device made to allow the user to inhale or taste smoke or vapor derived from the burning or vaporization of some substance. The most common form of these is the tobacco pipe, which is designed for use with tobacco, although the device itself may be used with many other substances. The pipes are manufactured with a variety of materials, the most common (as the popularity of its use): Briar, Heather, corn, meerschaum, clay, cherry, glass, porcelain, ebonite, acrylic and other more unusual materials. Other kinds of smoking pipes include:

Bowl (smoking), pipes of various designs for smoking cannabis

Bong, also known as a water pipe

Ceremonial pipe, used by some Native American peoples

Chalice, a pipe used by Rastafari in cannabis rituals

Chibouk, a long-stemmed Turkish tobacco pipe with a clay bowl, often ornamented with precious stones

Chillum (pipe), conical smoking pipe originally from India

Hookah, tall stemmed pipe in which the smoke is cooled and filtered by passing through water, also known as a water pipe

Kiseru, Japanese pipe traditionally used for smoking finely shredded tobacco

Midwakh, small smoking pipe of Arabian origin

Opium pipe, designed for the vaporization and inhalation of opium

Sebsi, traditional Moroccan smoking pipe

Sublimation (phase transition)

Sublimation is the transition of a substance directly from the solid to the gas phase, without passing through the intermediate liquid phase. Sublimation is an endothermic process that occurs at temperatures and pressures below a substance's triple point in its phase diagram, which corresponds to the lowest pressure at which the substance can exist as a liquid. The reverse process of sublimation is deposition or desublimation, in which a substance passes directly from a gas to a solid phase. Sublimation has also been used as a generic term to describe a solid-to-gas transition (sublimation) followed by a gas-to-solid transition (deposition). While a transition from liquid to gas is described as evaporation if it occurs below the boiling point of the liquid, and as boiling if it occurs at the boiling point, there is no such distinction within the solid-to-gas transition, which is always described as sublimation.

At normal pressures, most chemical compounds and elements possess three different states at different temperatures. In these cases, the transition from the solid to the gaseous state requires an intermediate liquid state. The pressure referred to is the partial pressure of the substance, not the total (e.g. atmospheric) pressure of the entire system. So, all solids that possess an appreciable vapour pressure at a certain temperature usually can sublimate in air (e.g. water ice just below 0 °C). For some substances, such as carbon and arsenic, sublimation is much easier than evaporation from the melt, because the pressure of their triple point is very high, and it is difficult to obtain them as liquids.

The term sublimation refers to a physical change of state and is not used to describe the transformation of a solid to a gas in a chemical reaction. For example, the dissociation on heating of solid ammonium chloride into hydrogen chloride and ammonia is not sublimation but a chemical reaction. Similarly the combustion of candles, containing paraffin wax, to carbon dioxide and water vapor is not sublimation but a chemical reaction with oxygen.

Sublimation is caused by the absorption of heat which provides enough energy for some molecules to overcome the attractive forces of their neighbors and escape into the vapor phase. Since the process requires additional energy, it is an endothermic change. The enthalpy of sublimation (also called heat of sublimation) can be calculated by adding the enthalpy of fusion and the enthalpy of vaporization.

Trouton's rule

Trouton’s rule states that the entropy of vaporization is almost the same value, about 85–88 J K−1 mol−1, for various kinds of liquids at their boiling points. The entropy of vaporization is defined as the ratio between the enthalpy of vaporization and the boiling temperature. It is named after Frederick Thomas Trouton.

Mathematically, it can be expressed as:

where R is the gas constant

Trouton’s rule can be explained by using Boltzmann's definition of entropy to the relative change in free volume (that is, space available for movement) between the liquid and vapour phases. It is valid for many liquids; for instance, the entropy of vaporization of toluene is 87.30 J K−1 mol−1, that of benzene is 89.45 J K−1 mol−1, and that of chloroform is 87.92 J K−1 mol−1. Because of its convenience, the rule is used to estimate the enthalpy of vaporization of liquids whose boiling points are known.

The rule, however, has some exceptions. For example, the entropies of vaporization of water, ethanol, formic acid and hydrogen fluoride are far from the predicted values. The entropy of vaporization of XeF6 at its boiling point has the extraordinarily high value of 136.9 J K−1 mol−1. The characteristic of those liquids to which Trouton’s rule cannot be applied is their special interaction between molecules such as hydrogen bonding. The entropy of vaporization of water and ethanol shows positive deviance from the rule; this is because the hydrogen bonding in the liquid phase lessens the entropy of the phase. In contrast, the entropy of vaporization of formic acid has negative deviance. This fact indicates the existence of an orderly structure in the gas phase; it is known that formic acid forms a dimer structure even in the gas phase. Negative deviance can also occur as a result of a small gas phase entropy owing to a low population of excited rotational states in the gas phase, particularly in small molecules such as methane - a small moment of inertia I giving rise to a large rotational constant B, with correspondingly widely separated rotational energy levels and, via Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution, a small population of excited rotational states and hence a low rotational entropy. Trouton's rule validity can be increased by considering

Here, if T = 400 K, we find the original formulation for Trouton's rule.

Another equation which Tboiling < 2100 K is ΔHboiling = 87 Tboiling − 0.4 J/K.

Low energy
High energy
Other states

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