Latent Heat

Heat absorbed or released as the result of a phase change. There are three basic types of latent heat each associated with a different pair of phases: fusion (solid-liquid), vaporization (liquid-gas), and sublimation (solid-gas). No temperature change occurs during a phase change, thus there is no change in the kinetic energy of the particles in the material. The energy released comes from the potential energy stored in the bonds between the particles. Processes may either release or absorb latent heat. Endothermic phase changes absorb heat from the environment and are cooling processes. Exothermic phase changes release heat to the environment and are warming processes. Transformations between pairs of phases are given different names depending upon whether the process is endothermic or exothermic. For example, the solid-liquid phase change may be called melting or fusion (endothermic) or crystallization, freezing or solidification (exothermic).

Some or all content above used with permission from J. H. Wittke.

This entry was posted in . Bookmark the permalink.