How are the terms evaporation and condensation related?

Expert Answers
rsanson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The terms evaporation and condensation are both steps in the water cycle.  Evaporation occurs when a liquid (water in the water cycle) is heated and changes from a liquid to a gas.  Condensation occurs when water vapor cools and changes from a gas to a liquid.  The two terms are often thought of as opposites of each other.  

Without evaporation and condensation, the water cycle would not continue.

malkaam | Student

Evaporation and Condensation are two closely related concepts that are part of the water cycle and thus greatly impact one another. They are ways through which water changes its form, or matter changes its state from one to another.

Evaporation refers to the changing of state from liquid to gas, it happens mainly when the liquid is evaporated and is converted into gaseous state. Moreover, it can be explained as that when water is exposed to sunlight it is thus affected by the beams and changes its form from liquid drops to water vapors moving upwards towards the clouds and thus are accumulated there only causing condensation. 

Therefore, condensation is the process in which the state of gas is converted into liquid. It implies that when the water vapors after evaporation are collected at the clouds, the form of the vapors change to liquid again. 

Merely, it can be said that condensation is the reverse of evaporation. 

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chrisyhsun | Student

Evaporation in a general sense is when a liquid is heated enough so that its molecules become more active and more spread out, forcing the substance into its gaseous state. One way to remember this is to see the word "vapor" in evaporation and know that the substance is being turned into some type of vapor. You can think of condensation as the opposite of evaporation. Instead of changing from liquid to gas, gas is changed into liquid for condensation. The molecules are cooled down, and therefore are more likely to form intermolecular bonds, making the substance tighter and in its liquid phase.

sid-sarfraz | Student

The water cycle is divided into four phases:-

  1. Evaporation
  2. Condensation
  3. Precipitation
  4. Collection

Evaporation and Condensation are two main phases of the water cycle. They can also be called the systems of the physical changes in matter (Solid, Liquid, Gas).


Evaporation is a cooling effect. Basically its a process that involves the changes from liquid form to gas form. In simple terms evaporation is a process in which the water (liquid form), when exposed to sunlight, takes the shape of steams or vapors, known as water vapor.


Condensation is a warming effect. It is a process in which the water vapor or gas form of state changes back to condensed state that is either liquid or solid state. In the water cycle the air which is in steam form changes back to clouds because of the cooling effect, known as condensation.

udonbutterfly | Student

Evaporation describes the process in which a liquid begins to loose it's definite volume, since the atoms are beginning to speed up, and turns into a gas. Condensation describes the process in which a gas turns back into a liquid. These two terms are related because they are the opposite of one another and they are both physical change process's.

ssandhu05 | Student

For the most part, they are part of the rain cycle or water cycle. They both involve the transformation of water. Evaporation involves water turning into a gas form from its liquid state. On the other hand, condensation involves water turning into a liquid state from its gas form. This is normally when one carries a water bottle. The water in the bottle is in a liquid state, but when one normally leaves it in a warm atmosphere, then the water inside it turns into a gas and then turns back into water droplets on the inside top of the water bottle. This is also seen when you are carrying an icy cold water bottle and the water droplets form on the outside of the bottle.

ahmedrehan | Student

Evaporation is when water goes away and condensation is when water is produced.

marizi | Student

 Evaporation and condensation are both physical change of phase (state of matter).

 Evaporation is change from liquid state to gaseous state while condensation is  reverse process of evaporation since it is a change from gaseous state to liquid state. The most common compound to compare these two transition is water (`H_2O` ).

When water is boiled,liquid water is being converted into steam  is an evaporation process.


liquid water ----------------> steam

This s also shows that evaporation is endothermic process since liquid water absorbed heat.

Formation of droplets of rain fall occurs when atmospheric water vapor undergoes condensation.


water vapor --------------> rainfall

This shows condensation is an exothermic process since water vapor is cooled or heat is released to become droplets of water.