Foundational Knowledge: Sublimation

Ain’t nobody got time for the liquid phase

Derby Roan, Managing Editor

Sublimation is a scientific phase change where a solid becomes a gas without ever entering the liquid phase.
The word sublime comes from a Latin term which translates to “raised to a higher status.”
One commonly-known example is dry ice, or solid carbon dioxide. Under normal atmospheric pressure, dry ice will sublime at as low as -104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Iodine sublimes at a temperature slightly above its boiling point, and can be used in forensic labs to pick up fingerprints.
Naphthaline, found in mothballs, and arsenic will also sublime at high enough temperatures.
Historically, sublimation had a past in alchemy and served a dual purpose of spiritualizing the body and grounding the spirit. Today, it is a preferred method of purifying samples in labs.

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