In science, change in the physical state (solid, liquid, or gas) of a material. For instance, melting, boiling, and evaporation and their opposites, solidification and condensation, are changes of state. The former set of changes are brought about by heating or decreased pressure (except for the melting of ice, which is favoured by pressure); the latter by cooling or increased pressure.
These changes involve the absorption or release of heat energy, called latent heat
, even though the temperature of the material does not change during the transition between states. See also states of matter
. Changes of state can be explained by the kinetic theory
of matter. In the unusual change of state called sublimation
, a solid changes directly to a gas without passing through the liquid state. For example, solid carbon dioxide (dry ice) sublimes to carbon dioxide gas.
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