Please define "melting point."

Asked on by bergcar

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booboosmoosh's profile pic

booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In order to understand what a "melting point" is, you must know the difference between liquids and solids.

A liquid is defined as "one state of matter;" it is comprised of...

...molecules that move freely among themselves but do not tend to separate like those of gases...


...a liquid is able to flow and take the shape of a container.

We are generally able to identify liquids because they do not hold their shape. Juice cannot stand upright, but pools and spread on a surface. A liquid is not a solid—unless it is frozen, but then it is not in a liquid state any longer.

A solid is defined as...

...having three dimensions (length, breadth, and thickness)...

But it can also be defined as...

...firm, hard, or compact in substance...


...having the interior completely filled up...

A solid is... of the major states of matter.

It is also usually easy to tell if something is solid, unless the eye tricks one. An example that comes to mind is quicksand. It appears like solid ground until one steps into it—it is then that the liquidity of this kind of "sand" is revealed to be more like water than firm ground. Otherwise, most things we hold or sit on, etc., based on these definitions, are solid. Wood, glass and metal (in their final state) are solids.

This brings us to "melting point." This can change glass or metal from a solid into a liquid. In terms of a solid, the "melting point" is defined as...

...the temperature at which [the solid] changes state from solid to liquid.

The melting point may depend upon "atmospheric pressure" or the a amount of pressure placed on an item within the earth's standard atmosphere. However, the melting point of something most often relies heavily on temperature. Some things liquefy when exposed to an intense level of heat. Conversely, if something like water or metal is exposed to a very low level of temperature (i.e., the cold), the change is reversed. When the liquid is changed to a solid in this way, it is called...

...the freezing point or crystallization point.


givingiswinning's profile pic

givingiswinning | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

The melting point the temperature at which an element changes from a solid to a liquid. 

crystaltu001's profile pic

crystaltu001 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

The melting point is when a substance or an element changes from a solid into a liquid. For example a melting point is when something like ice turns into water because the temperature changes. 

atyourservice's profile pic

atyourservice | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

The point where an element or substance starts changing from a solid to a liquid.

satyarey's profile pic

satyarey | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Melting point is the temperature at which a substance changes its state from solid to liquid

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