Phase transition

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Entry to be completed by Kevin Tian Written by Kevin Tian, AP 225, Fall 2011

Generally speaking, a Phase Transition is the the process through which a thermodynamic system changes from one phase to another. The most common and easily observed form of this are the various transitions between the various states of matter (solid, liquid, gas, plasma). This is not necessarily limited to the changing of a single phase to another single phase. For example, there are transitions where a two component system of single phase transforms to two solid phases, among many others.


Figure 1: Taken from [1]. Illustrates the names of the phase transitions between the 4 states of matter: Solid, Liquid, Gas, and Plasma.

The most commonly observed phase transitions are the phase changes of the 3/4 states of matter. If we were to consider a one component system (let's say water), and we alter the external conditions imposed upon the system (such as increase the temperature) then the system will undergo a phase transition (with our example, the water will eventually boil).


Phase transition in Phases and Phase Diagrams from Lectures for AP225.


Keyword in References

Crystalline monolayer surface of liquid Au–Cu–Si–Ag–Pd: Metallic glass former

David Turnbull (1915-2007). Pioneer of the kinetics of phase transformations in condensed matter

Temperature-controlled transitions between glass, liquid and gel states in dense p-NIPA suspensions

The Science of Chocolate: Interactive Activities on Phase Transitions, Emulsification, and Nucleation