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Difference between Melting Point and Boiling Point

Last updated date: 17th Apr 2024
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What are Melting Point and Boiling Point: Introduction

Melting point and boiling point are fundamental physical properties of substances that play a crucial role in understanding their behavior and applications. These properties provide insights into the temperature ranges at which substances transition between different phases, such as solid, liquid, and gas. Understanding what is melting point and boiling point reaction is essential in various fields, including chemistry, materials science, and everyday life.


Real-Life Example: One practical example that demonstrates the significance of melting point and boiling point is the process of cooking. When we heat a solid substance, such as butter or chocolate, in a cooking pan, it undergoes a phase transition from a solid to a liquid state. The temperature at which this transition occurs is known as the melting point. By reaching the melting point, the solid substance transforms into a liquid, becoming more malleable and easier to work with for cooking purposes. Similarly, when we boil water to prepare tea or cook pasta, we observe another phase transition. As the temperature of the water increases, it eventually reaches its boiling point. The boiling point is the temperature at which a liquid turns into a gas, in this case, water vapor. The bubbling and steam we see during boiling are the results of the water molecules transitioning into the gaseous state.


By understanding the melting point and boiling point of various substances, we can determine suitable cooking temperatures, ensure proper material compatibility, and achieve desired outcomes in food preparation and other applications. These properties also find relevance in industrial processes, such as the production of metals, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals, where precise temperature control is necessary for successful manufacturing. In summary, the concepts of melting point and boiling point have practical implications in our daily lives, influencing our cooking techniques and providing essential knowledge for various industries. By grasping these properties, we can better understand the behavior and transformations of substances, enabling us to make informed decisions and achieve desired outcomes in different applications.


Defining Melting Point

Melting Point: The melting point of a substance is the temperature at which it transitions from a solid state to a liquid state. It is the temperature at which the intermolecular forces holding the particles in a solid lattice structure are overcome, allowing the substance to flow and take on the characteristics of a liquid. During the melting process, the substance absorbs heat energy, which increases the kinetic energy of its particles, causing them to vibrate and eventually break free from their fixed positions.

Defining Boiling Point

Boiling Point: The boiling point of a substance is the temperature at which it transitions from a liquid state to a gaseous state throughout the bulk of the liquid. It is the temperature at which the vapor pressure of the substance becomes equal to the atmospheric pressure, allowing bubbles of vapor to form within the liquid and escape into the surrounding atmosphere. The boiling point indicates the temperature at which the substance undergoes a phase change from a liquid to a gas, with particles gaining sufficient energy to overcome the intermolecular forces completely.

Difference between Boiling Point and Melting Point


Melting point

Boiling point


Transition from solid to liquid state

Transition from liquid to gas state


Temperature at which a substance changes from  solid to liquid state

Temperature at which a substance changes from  liquid to gas state


Typically lower than the boiling point

Typically higher than the melting point


Specific to each substance

Can vary depending on external factors like pressure


Determined by the strength of forces like ionic,metallic, or covalent bonds within the solid lattice

Influenced by intermolecular force such as hydrogen bonding,van der Waals forces, or dipole-dipole interactions


Physical changes observed include softening, liquefaction, or fusion

Formation of bubbles within the liquid as vaporization occurs throughout the liquid volume


Crucial in pharmaceutical research and drug development

Influences drug stability, solubility, and formulation


Considered in chemical reactions

Determines reaction conditions and feasibility 


Assessing purity of substances

Impurities can lead to deviations from expected values 


Important in material science, engineering, and material selection

Essential for selecting suitable materials for specific applications 


Importance and Applications

The knowledge of melting and boiling points of substances is crucial in various scientific, industrial, and everyday applications. It helps determine the suitability of materials for specific processes, such as casting, molding, and purification. Melting and boiling points also aid in the identification and characterization of substances, allowing scientists to differentiate between similar compounds. Additionally, these properties play a vital role in the design and optimization of chemical reactions, as they impact reaction rates and conditions.


In summary, the melting point and boiling point are fundamental properties that provide valuable information about the behavior and characteristics of substances. While the melting point signifies the transition from solid to liquid, the boiling point indicates the transition from liquid to gas. Understanding these differences and their implications is essential for a wide range of scientific, industrial, and practical applications. By studying melting and boiling points, scientists and researchers can gain insights into the nature of materials, design optimal processes, and make informed decisions in various fields of study and industry.

FAQs on Difference between Melting Point and Boiling Point

1. What factors affect the melting and boiling points of substances?

The melting and boiling points of substances are primarily influenced by the strength of intermolecular forces. Substances with stronger intermolecular forces, such as ionic or covalent bonds, tend to have higher melting and boiling points. Other factors that can affect melting and boiling points include molecular size, polarity, and the presence of impurities.

2. How is the melting point determined experimentally?

The melting point of a substance can be determined experimentally using a melting point apparatus. The substance is heated gradually, and the temperature is monitored until the solid completely melts into a liquid. The recorded temperature represents the melting point of the substance. Impurities can lower the observed melting point, so obtaining a pure sample is crucial for accurate measurements.

3. What is the significance of melting and boiling points in material selection?

The melting and boiling points of materials play a crucial role in various industries and applications. For example, in materials science and engineering, knowledge of the melting point is essential for determining the appropriate manufacturing processes, such as casting or welding. Similarly, the boiling point is relevant in selecting materials for applications that involve high temperatures or require resistance to thermal degradation.

4. Can melting and boiling points be used to identify substances?

Yes, the melting and boiling points can be used as identifying characteristics for substances. Each substance has a unique range of melting and boiling points. By comparing experimental data with known values, scientists and analysts can identify unknown substances or confirm the purity of a sample. However, it is important to consider that melting and boiling points alone may not be sufficient for definitive identification, as some substances may have similar or overlapping ranges. Other analytical techniques, such as spectroscopy or chromatography, are often employed in conjunction with melting and boiling point analysis for accurate substance identification.