MadSci Network: Earth Sciences

Re: how does condensation form?

Area: Earth Sciences
Posted By: Samuel Conway, Senior Staff Chemist, Avid Therapeutics,Philadelphia, PA
Date: Sat May 17 23:05:27 1997
Area of science: Earth Sciences
ID: 862018438.Es
Condensation forms when water molecules in relatively warm air come
into contact with a cold surface.  As the molecules cool down, they
begin to move about more slowly and draw closer together.  If they
are cooled down enough, they begin to stick together -- they no longer
have the energy to overcome their natural attraction for one another.

(It sounds like a soap opera plot, doesn't it?)

As more and more molecules stick together, visible droplets of liquid
water form on the surface.

This, incidentally, is the same process that creates rain.  The "cold
surface" is a mass of cooler air in the atmosphere.  Water starts to 
condense on the surface of tiny dust particles in the air, and form 

Current Queue | Current Queue for Earth Sciences | Earth Sciences archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Earth Sciences.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network
© 1997, Washington University Medical School