Thinking of this question, I thought that the phenomenon of water evaporation into the air is totally analogous to the solid (say, salt) that is dissolved into a liquid (water).
Indeed, in this analogy, the original doubt would translate thus: We know that salt melts at 801 °C. Now, when we dissolve it in water (at room temperature)... what becomes of its state: it's still solid salt or liquid?
I thought that the traditional picture of states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) applies to pure or homogeneous substances. When some substance is dissolved into some solvent, it looses its individuality, and it makes little sense to speak of the state of the solute: the solute is neither solid or liquid salt, but part of a liquid solution. From Wikipedia:
The solution more or less takes on the characteristics of the solvent including its phase
This makes sense to me, and I tended to believe that the same applies to water vapour in the air: it was a liquid that has been dissolved into a gas. (Steam, on the other hand, is gaseous water). And the formation of tiny droplets when the air cools (condensation) would be analogous to the precipitation of solids in liquid solutions. Afterwards, I found that some people agree with this ("the air is the solvent and water is the solute").
However, the same Wikipedia does not seem to agree:
If the solvent is a gas, only gases are dissolved...
So I'm confused.
When a solid dissolves into a liquid, it's right say that the solute is in the liquid state? Or solid? Or neither?
The case of water vapour in the air (at room temperature) is, analogously, a liquid (solute) disolved in a gas (air)?