phase transition |
A change in a feature of a physical system that results in a discrete transition of that system to another state. For example, the melting of ice is a phase transition of water from a solid phase to a liquid phase. Phase transitions often involve the absorption or emission of energy from the system; ice, at 0 ° Celsius, must absorb a considerable amount of heat energy to become water. See also state of matter, thermodynamics.
|a change from one state (solid or liquid or gas) to another without a change in chemical composition [syn: phase change]|