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Chemistry
Clouds

How does a liquid turn into a gas?

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April 23, 2017 6:30AM

If you were to take something (anything at all) and break it up into almost the smallest things you could, you'd get molecules. Everything there is is made up of lots of little molecules. If the molecules are stuck together really tightly, then they're called a solid. The solid form of water is ice. This actually makes a lot of sense, because it certainly does seem like all the little parts of a solid (like ice) are stuck together very tightly.

When you heat something up, it makes the molecules move faster. If you heat up a solid, it melts and becomes a liquid. In a liquid (like water), the molecules are still stuck together, but they can move around some. What actually happens is that the molecules are still sort of sticking together, but they're constantly breaking apart and sticking to different molecules. This also makes sense when you think about water. Water sort of sticks together, but it breaks apart /really/ easily.

If you heat a liquid like water up even more (like if you put it in a pot on the stove), then the molecules will move around so fast that they can't even hold on to each other at all. When this happens, all of the molecules go flying apart and become a gas (like when you boil water to make steam). The process of heating up a liquid like water to make a gas like steam is called "evaporation." When you do the opposite and cool a gas down to make a liquid, then it's called "condensation."

Hope this answers your question!

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