When I looked up the definition of ionization energy, it says:-

it is the energy required to remove one electron from the shell to infinity in an atom in gaseous state.

Why is it measured in gaseous phase and not in any other phase?

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    $\begingroup$ You can define the energy necessary to remove an electron from a solid instead of a free atom/molecule, but it takes on another name, the work function. As expected the extra intermolecular interactions stabilize the material after losing an electron, and so it's much easier to remove an electron from a solid than a single atom/molecule. $\endgroup$ – Nicolau Saker Neto Feb 27 '14 at 13:07

You want to determine the energy for a single molecule and avoid stabilization effects through intermolecular interactions.


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