Condense and Condensation: How Making Something Denser Leads to a Change of State

Condense means “to make something denser.” How is this related to condensation? In this article, we will explore the meaning of these two terms and how they are connected in the context of chemistry and physics.

What Does Condense Mean?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, condense means “to make (something) more dense or concentrated; to reduce the volume or extent of; to compress”. For example, we can condense a long text into a summary, or we can condense a gas into a liquid by applying pressure or lowering the temperature.

What is Condensation?

Condensation is the process where water vapor becomes liquid. It is the reverse action of evaporation, where liquid water becomes a vapor. Condensation happens one of two ways: Either the air is cooled to its dew point or it becomes so saturated with water vapor that it cannot hold any more water.

Dew point is the temperature at which condensation happens. (Dew is simply condensed water in the atmosphere.) Air temperatures can reach or fall below the dew point naturally, as they often do at night. That’s why the ground, structures, and objects left outside are often coated with water droplets in the morning.

Condensation can also produce water droplets on the outside of soda cans or glasses of cold water. When warm air hits the cold surface, it reaches its dew point and condenses. This leaves droplets of water on the glass or can.

When a pocket of air becomes full of water vapor, clouds form. The point at which condensation starts can be easily viewed in cumulus clouds, which have flat bottoms. Those flat bottoms are where vapor begins to condense into water droplets.

Condensing and condensation are both related to the change of state from gas to liquid. When a gas is condensed, it becomes more dense and occupies less space than before. This is because the molecules in the gas are moving faster and farther apart than the molecules in the liquid. When a gas loses heat energy, its molecules slow down and come closer together, forming a liquid.

Condensation is a specific type of condensing that involves water vapor and liquid water. Water vapor is the gaseous form of water that exists in the air. Liquid water is the familiar form of water that we drink, wash with, and swim in. Water can change from one state to another depending on the temperature and pressure conditions.

When water vapor cools down or encounters a cooler surface, it condenses into liquid water. This process releases heat energy into the surroundings. The opposite process, evaporation, absorbs heat energy from the surroundings and turns liquid water into water vapor.

Why is Condensing Important?

Condensing and condensation are important for many reasons. They are part of the water cycle, which is the continuous movement of water between the earth’s surface and the atmosphere. The water cycle supports life on earth by providing fresh water for plants, animals, and humans.

Condensing and condensation are also involved in many natural phenomena and human activities. For example, they are responsible for:

  • The formation of clouds, fog, mist, dew, rain, snow, hail, and other forms of precipitation.
  • The creation of rainbows, which occur when sunlight passes through water droplets in the air.
  • The cooling effect of sweating, which happens when sweat evaporates from the skin and takes away heat energy.
  • The operation of refrigerators, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and other devices that use condensing coils to transfer heat from one place to another.
  • The production of distilled water, which is obtained by boiling water and then condensing the steam into pure liquid water.
  • The generation of electricity by steam turbines, which use steam produced by boiling water to spin a turbine that drives a generator.


Condense means “to make something denser.” Condensation is the process where water vapor becomes liquid. These two terms are related because they both involve the change of state from gas to liquid. Condensing and condensation are important for many natural and human processes that affect our lives and environment.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them with me. Thank you for your time and attention.

Doms Desk

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