At What Temperature and Pressure Can All Three Phases of Water Exist Simultaneously?

Water can boil at room temperature if the atmospheric pressure is low enough.
••• Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

The three fundamental phases of matter are solid, liquid and gas. A phase change occurs when a substance transitions from one phase to another. In everyday life, phase changes -- such as liquid water boiling into steam -- are caused by increasing or decreasing temperature, but pressure is equally capable of inducing a phase change. The combined effects of temperature and pressure lead to a condition in which the three phases of matter can coexist.

One Substance, Three Phases

A phase diagram is a valuable tool for analyzing the influence of temperature and pressure on phase changes. With pressure on the vertical axis and temperature on the horizontal axis, a phase diagram uses curved lines to depict the temperature and pressure conditions that result in phase changes. A phase diagram has three lines that depict the temperature-pressure combinations resulting in a transition from solid to liquid, liquid to gas, and solid to gas. The point at which these three lines intersect is called the triple point -- at this exact combination of temperature and pressure, a substance can assume any of the three phases. The triple point for water is a temperature of 0.01 degrees Celsius (32.018 degrees Fahrenheit) and a pressure of 611.7 Pascals (.006 atmospheres). With this combination of temperature and pressure, water can exist as liquid water, ice or steam.

Related Articles

Volume Vs. Weight of Water
How to Convert PSI to Horsepower
What Happens After Water Vapor Condenses?
What Is the Unit for Enthalpy?
What Are the Six Processes of a Phase Change?
What Is the Effect of Temperature on States of Matter?
How to Convert the Volume of Co2 Gas to Liquid
Facts on Convection Currents
How Does Water Enter the Earth's Atmosphere?
10 Types of Physical Change
What Is the Density of CO2?
What Does Sublimation Mean in Science?
Three Ways That Polarity of Water Molecules Affect...
At Standard Pressure Which Element Has a Freezing Point...
Characteristics of Aquatic Plants
How to Convert ATM Pressure to Celsius
What Causes a Lower Freezing Point?
What Color Would a Tester PH Paper Turn if Is Dipped...
How to Calculate a Temperature Range
How to Calculate Volume of a Circular Cylinder