MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Properties of Graphite

Area: Chemistry
Posted By: John Haberman, Space Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Center, Greenbelt MD
Date: Tue Jan 14 15:47:56 1997
Message ID: 842330247.Ch

Hi Rocky,

Yes, you have discovered a misprint in the textbook. The boiling point will always be the same as or higher than the melting point. In the special case with Graphite (Carbon), it is very difficult to measure the melting and boiling points because they are so high. There are very few materials than can be used when you attempt to make these measurements that will not be destroyed at these temperatures. If you look up the values published for the melting and boiling points, you will find many different values primarily because this measurement is so difficult to make. Because Graphite is one form of carbon (as is a diamond) there might be some confusion about the property being measured. If you perform the work carefully enough you will find that phase changes occur at defined temperatures. Perhaps this has confused the observations used when these values are measured and can explain why the values in different books vary so greatly.

John Haberman

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