Malaria parasites form vortices

The disease of malaria is triggered by single-celled parasites that accumulate in large groups in the salivary glands of mosquitoes before transmission to human beings. The limited space there prevents them from actually ...

Phase transitions in the early universe and their signals

Phase transitions, such as the boiling of water or the melting of a metal, are commonplace but fascinating phenomena that spur surprises decades after decades. They often occur as the temperature of a substance is changed, ...

A look into the future of magnetic phase transitions

Researchers at PSI have observed for the first time how tiny magnets in a special layout align themselves solely as a result of temperature changes. This view into processes that take place within so-called artificial spin ...

Novel theory of entropy may solve materials design issues

A challenge in materials design is that in both natural and manmade materials, volume sometimes decreases, or increases, with increasing temperature. While there are mechanical explanations for this phenomenon for some specific ...

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Phase transition

A phase transition is a natural physical process. It has the characteristic of taking a given medium with given properties and transforming some or all of that medium, into a new medium with new properties. Phase transitions occur frequently and are found everywhere in the natural world. Some engineering techniques exploit certain types of phase transition.

In thermodynamics, a phase transition is the transformation of a thermodynamic system from one phase to another.

At a phase transition point, physical properties may undergo abrupt change: for instance, the volume of the two phases may be vastly different as is illustrated by the boiling of liquid water to form steam.

The term is most commonly used to describe transitions between solid, liquid and gaseous states of matter, in rare cases including plasma.

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