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The solid-vapor curve, labeled AB in [link] , indicates the temperatures and pressures at which ice and water vapor are in equilibrium. These temperature-pressure data pairs correspond to the sublimation, or deposition, points for water. If we could zoom in on the solid-gas line in [link] , we would see that ice has a vapor pressure of about 0.20 kPa at −10 °C. Thus, if we place a frozen sample in a vacuum with a pressure less than 0.20 kPa, ice will sublime. This is the basis for the “freeze-drying” process often used to preserve foods, such as the ice cream shown in [link] .

A photograph shows a package with a rocket being launched on the front and a block of pink, white and brown striped solid in a wrapper next to it.
Freeze-dried foods, like this ice cream, are dehydrated by sublimation at pressures below the triple point for water. (credit: ʺlwaoʺ/Flickr)

The solid-liquid curve labeled BD shows the temperatures and pressures at which ice and liquid water are in equilibrium, representing the melting/freezing points for water. Note that this curve exhibits a slight negative slope (greatly exaggerated for clarity), indicating that the melting point for water decreases slightly as pressure increases. Water is an unusual substance in this regard, as most substances exhibit an increase in melting point with increasing pressure. This behavior is partly responsible for the movement of glaciers, like the one shown in [link] . The bottom of a glacier experiences an immense pressure due to its weight that can melt some of the ice, forming a layer of liquid water on which the glacier may more easily slide.

A photograph shows an aerial view of a land mass. The white mass of a glacier is shown near the top left quadrant of the photo and leads to two branching blue rivers. The open land is shown in brown.
The immense pressures beneath glaciers result in partial melting to produce a layer of water that provides lubrication to assist glacial movement. This satellite photograph shows the advancing edge of the Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina. (credit: NASA)

The point of intersection of all three curves is labeled B in [link] . At the pressure and temperature represented by this point, all three phases of water coexist in equilibrium. This temperature-pressure data pair is called the triple point    . At pressures lower than the triple point, water cannot exist as a liquid, regardless of the temperature.

Determining the state of water

Using the phase diagram for water given in [link] , determine the state of water at the following temperatures and pressures:

(a) −10 °C and 50 kPa

(b) 25 °C and 90 kPa

(c) 50 °C and 40 kPa

(d) 80 °C and 5 kPa

(e) −10 °C and 0.3 kPa

(f) 50 °C and 0.3 kPa


Using the phase diagram for water, we can determine that the state of water at each temperature and pressure given are as follows: (a) solid; (b) liquid; (c) liquid; (d) gas; (e) solid; (f) gas.

Check your learning

What phase changes can water undergo as the temperature changes if the pressure is held at 0.3 kPa? If the pressure is held at 50 kPa?


At 0.3 kPa: s g at −58 °C. At 50 kPa: s l at 0 °C, l ⟶ g at 78 °C

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Consider the phase diagram for carbon dioxide shown in [link] as another example. The solid-liquid curve exhibits a positive slope, indicating that the melting point for CO 2 increases with pressure as it does for most substances (water being a notable exception as described previously). Notice that the triple point is well above 1 atm, indicating that carbon dioxide cannot exist as a liquid under ambient pressure conditions. Instead, cooling gaseous carbon dioxide at 1 atm results in its deposition into the solid state. Likewise, solid carbon dioxide does not melt at 1 atm pressure but instead sublimes to yield gaseous CO 2 . Finally, notice that the critical point for carbon dioxide is observed at a relatively modest temperature and pressure in comparison to water.

Questions & Answers

can someone please tell me what does an Entropy means
Afiwape Reply
what is chemistry?
Archie Reply
what is chemistry
chemistry is a brach of science which deal with the study of the nature, composition structure and with the force that hold the structure together and the change matter will undergo undedifferent conditions
And god has created everything from nothing
forms of biotechnology
Ocheme Reply
What is a mole?
Henry Reply
pls give me 3 type of transition metal
Destiny Reply
Copper, Scandium, Vanadium, Iron, Chromium, Cobalt
ion zinc hydrogen
that is not true
stop posting foolishness
how do I name compounds
Stanley Reply
depends on the compound. as you may know there's transition metal compounds and there's organic compounds and so on and so forth.
what is electricity
Lorrita Reply
electricity refers to the flow electrons
Hi. please can you tell me more on chemical equation
Gift Reply
When 1 or 2 chemicals react, they rearrange their atomic composition forming new compounds. The total mass before and after is the same/ constant. Chemical equations of same reactants react in same ratios e.g. 1 Na ion reacts with 1 water molecule or a multipier like 1 mole of Na ions react with 1
Mole of water molecules. In that example we multipied by 6.02*10^23 or avogadro constant (L). Or 2 Na+ ions with two water molecules. The arrow means '' to form '' Some times conditions or reactants are written above the arrow like H+ or enzyme or temper, sometimes physical states are written
Beside the chemical Aqueous (aq) which means solute dissolved on water. Solid (s) etc Some chemical equations are written next to it ΔH= # which means enthalpy change which describes if the reaction is endothermic (+) or exothermic (-).
Some are reversible and have half double arrow sign.
what is the meaning of atoma
Ibrahim Reply
what is theory
Michael Reply
what is chemical compound
A compound is the result of chemical bonding between 2 or more different elements.
Why is an atom electrically neutral?
the same number of electron , proton present in an atom.thats why it is electrically neutral
difference between Amine and amide
Amadu Reply
what is the difference between alkanal and alkanone
difference between alkanol and alkanal
you are not well at all
is organic compounds used for drying agent
Olawale Reply
Sulfuric acid is used as a drying agent.
what is an atom
John Reply
An atom is the smallest part of an element, for instance gold atoms are the smallest part of gold that can enter a reaction. An atom must consist protons and electrons of equal number. You can think of those subatomic particles as spheres, but not orbiting randomly they move in specific way in
That was partially described mathematically. As a muslim, we believe that god created all matter from nothing. He is the Able, and only who can create matter in the begging in the big bang that was described in the Quran in chapter 17 verse 30, 1400 years ago, you can read it from internet.
what is electron affinity
do you have a private jet
what is acid
Olubodun Reply
Proton donor (H+). Like in lemons, oranges and some medicines.
what is titration? and how can i get my readings?
favor Reply
Practice Key Terms 4

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry. OpenStax CNX. May 20, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11760/1.9
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