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Cooling curves

A cooling curve is a line graph that represents the change in temperature of a substance that loses energy to its environment over time.

The cooling curve of water as it freezes.
The cooling curve of water as it freezes.

The different sections on the graph are:

  • Section A: Liquid water cools down and releases heat to the surroundings as it approaches the freezing point.
  • Section B: The water exists in both the liquid and the solid state while it is freezing. The temperature stays constant at the freezing point until all of the water has frozen.
  • Section C: The solid ice releases heat to the surroundings as it cools down further.

Cooling curves can be used to find the freezing (melting) point and the condensation (boiling) point of a substance.