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Difference Between Vapor and Gas

vaporVapor vs Gas

A gas refers to a substance that has a single defined thermodynamic state at room temperature whereas a vapor refers to a substance that is a mixture of two phases at room temperature, namely gaseous and liquid phase. This also means that a vapor is a substance that has experienced some sort of phase change at room temperature. A gas is a substance whose molecules are in constant free motion past each other and can be compressed, which can also be referred to as a compressible fluid. When no liquid or solid can form at the temperature of the gas it is called a fixed gas.
It is worth noting that when referring to the four states of matter there is a ‘gas phase’ which does not necessarily refer to a gas as a distinct element but rather represents differences in interrelationships of molecules. A gas has its single gas particles vastly separated, making a gas invisible to the eye.

When a substance is at a temperature below its critical temperature it is in a ‘gas phase’ and therefore will be a vapour. A vapour can co-exist with a liquid or solid when they are in equilibrium state. Therefore from this we can infer that a vapour is a gas state of a substance at a temperature where it can co-exist with its liquid or solid state so for a liquid or solid to become vapour it does not have to first boil.

It is also of paramount importance to note that vapour is a result of the two types of vaporization of a liquid which are boiling and evaporation, the transition from liquid phase to ‘gas phase’. Evaporation occurs at the surface of the liquid when its temperature is below the boiling temperature at a given pressure. Boiling occurs below the surface of the liquid.

1. A gas has one defined state at room temperature whereas a vapour is a substance that is in gaseous and liquid equilibrium at room temperature, at a given pressure. A gas can also refer to a single element of matter with its own unique physical and chemical properties, for example oxygen, nitrogen and neon.
2. Because vapour is actually the gaseous state of an element, vapour particles will be of a single element and may have a definite shape whereas gas particles when observed under microscopic view do not have a definite shape and will be a collection of atoms, ions, electrons and molecules. However both gas and vapour particles are in a random motion, colliding with each other or the walls of the containing vessel when observed under a microscope.

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  1. “Because vapour is actually the gaseous state of an element, vapour particles will be of a single element”

    I’m really just curious.. not trying to be challenging. But. How can you explain that water vapor is made of 2 elements, oxygen and hydrogen if vapor particles will “be of a single element”?

    I really appreciate you answering I’m just confused.


  2. i actually think that the major idea here is that when we look at the states of matter we find gas ,, but vapor is not found there .. so that can serve as well as a difference,,,
    gas is a substance existing in gaseous state at ordinary condition of room temperature and pressure[25degrees celcius and 1 atm]

  3. Not satisfied with the answer…

  4. Not satisfied

  5. When the surface molecules of liquid gain heat energy that suffices for its transition phase from liquid phase to vapou with in the surface top.then the resulting product is called vapour and this takes place at no specific temperature this is called *evaporation*.

    But gas is formed when water boils at specific temperature with a complete energy transformation through out the water body……and this is called boilling or vaporization .

    • I see I’m not the only one having a hard time with understanding this.
      So how do you know if water is a liquid or gas at room temp/pressure without observing it?
      Can someone draw this out?

  6. According to me the difference between vapour and gas is simply:
    Vapour: it is the evaporated molecules which can be instantly converted back to the liquid state by reducing the temperature of the system slightly…
    Gas: it is particularly the molecules which are far apart for having appreciable intermolecular forces and hence to liqify it higher pressure and lower temperature is required (as compared to that of vapour)

  7. Am confused please

  8. Main difference between gas and vapour is that , the temperature of gas is below than its critical tempersture.while
    Vapour’s temperature is greater than it critical temperature.
    Hence gas is compressible but vapour is not compressible

  9. Is vaporization and boiling the same? Yes or no??

    • No evaporation occurs at surface of liquid wheras boiling occurs at entire length of liquid.Evaporation causes cooling but no cooling is done during boiling.Evaporation occurs slowly and boiling occurs fastly.Evaporation does not form bubbles whereas boiling form bubbles.Evapration tale place at any temperature but boiling occurs at fixed temperature that is boiling point

  10. Because it is just single particle
    And gas is mixture of oxygen and carbon dioxide and etc


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