Phase transition

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A phase transition is the transformation of a thermodynamic system from one phase or state of matter to another.

A phase of a thermodynamic system and the states of matter have uniform physical properties. During a phase transition of a given medium certain properties of the medium change, often discontinuously, as a result of some external condition, such as temperature, pressure, and others. For example, a liquid may become gas upon heating to the boiling point, resulting in an abrupt change in volume. The measurement of the external conditions at which the transformation occurs is termed the phase transition point.

Phase transitions are common occurrences observed in nature and many engineering techniques exploit certain types of phase transition.

The term is most commonly used to describe transitions between solid, liquid and gaseous states of matter, in rare cases including plasma.

Contents

Types of phase transition

Examples of phase transitions include:

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