Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Refrigerant Characteristics
Name: Jimmy
Status: Student
Grade: 9-12
Location: GU
Country: N/A
Date: July 2005

I have a question about refrigerants used to cool your house in an air conditioner. What gives a refrigerant its ability to so rapidly change its state from liquid to gas, and at such different temperatures? Thank You.

The rate of evaporation or condensation of refrigerants depends upon the heat exchanger, which is more a mechanical engineering design issue than the chemical nature of the refrigerant itself. The heat of vaporization (condensation) between the cold and hot temperatures at which the fluid functions does not change that much.

Vince Calder

Click here to return to the Material Science Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory