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Difference Between Evaporation and Boiling

boilingEvaporation vs. Boiling

Evaporation occurs on the surface of liquid and it is a vaporization of liquid. It is a state of transition from liquid to gaseous state. The process occurs slowly and cannot be seen as well. It occurs when there is exposure of water to air and water molecules change into vapor and these vapors rise up and form clouds.

Boiling occurs on the entire mass of liquid and it is the vaporization of liquid. It occurs rapidly. It happens when the vapor pressure of the liquid is equal to the pressure exerted by the environmental pressure on liquid. It is a state of phase transition. The boiling occurs in three different stages: nucleate boiling, transition boiling and film boiling. There are no such stages for evaporation.

Boiling occurs when the temperature of the liquid is greater than the boiling point of the substance. Evaporation can occur at any temperature. It occurs as long as the substance  remains  liquid at a particular temperature.

According to Greg Bradburn, evaporation occurs when there is an increased energy present and occurs rapidly. It occurs from the bottom of the container when allowed to boil. The bubbles form at the bottom of the container and then rise on top of the container. In boiling, bubbles do not form at the bottom and rise to the surface. Evaporation occurs at room temperature and therefore, occurs at a slower rate when compared to boiling.

In boiling, there is formation of bubbles as it is a complex physical process and these bubbles are formed on a heated liquid. There is cavitation and acoustic effects seen in boiling. There is no such bubbles formed in evaporation and there is no cavitation and acoustic effect present in evaporation.

The microscopic difference between evaporation and boiling is as follows:

In boiling, the motion of particles is increased and this force separates the particles apart from each other. The temperature is uniform and the boiling also occurs throughout. In evaporation the movement of the particles is not the same. Few particles move at slower speed and few particles move at an increased speed. The surface particles are held in place by the particles beneath the surface layer and the particles in the middle layer is held by the forces acting on the sides of the container. The particles on the surface can break easily from the liquid.


1. Evaporation occurs on the surface of the liquid whereas boiling occurs at the entire length of liquid.
2. Boiling occurs rapidly whereas evaporation occurs slowly.
3. Evaporation occurs at any temperature whereas boiling occurs at a specific temperature.
4. The motion of particles is fast in boiling whereas in evaporation few particles move slowly and few at a faster rate.
5. There is formation of bubbles in boiling, but bubbles are not seen in evaporation.

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  10. Difference between boiling and evaporation

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