Critical point

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In thermodynamics, a critical point or critical state, is the end point of a phase equilibrium curve. The most prominent example is the liquid–vapor critical point, the end point of the pressure–temperature curve that designates conditions under which a liquid and its vapor can coexist. At higher temperatures, the gas cannot be liquefied by pressure alone. At the critical point, defined by a critical temperature Tc and a critical pressure pc, phase boundaries vanish.

In water, the critical point occurs at 647.096 K (373.946 °C; 705.103 °F) and 22.064 megapascals (3,200.1 psi; 217.75 atm).


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