Latent heat

Alternative definitions (2), class: vernacular (0)
Term: Latent heat
Definition: The specific enthalpy difference between two phases of a substance at the same temperature. The latent heat of vaporization is the water vapor specific enthalpy minus the liquid water specific enthalpy. When the temperature of a system of dry air and water vapor is lowered to the dewpoint and water vapor condenses, the enthalpy released by the vapor heats the air-vapor-liquid system, reducing or eliminating the rate of temperature reduction. Similarly, when liquid water evaporates, the system must provide enthalpy to the vapor by cooling. The latent heat of fusion is the specific enthalpy of water minus that of ice and the latent heat of sublimation is the specific enthalpy of water vapor minus that of ice. The latent heats of vaporization, fusion, and sublimation of water at 0C are, respectively, L_v = 2.501 * 10^6 J/kg L_f = 3.337 * 10^5 J/kg L_s = 2.834 * 10^6 J/kg It is common to see an expression like "release of latent heat." In other thermodynamic terms in this glossary, such expressions are avoided in favor of others using enthalpy and temperature, which are measurable quantities.
Created 2022.03.08
Last Modified 2022.04.08
Contributed by GCW Glossary