Lv 7
Belie asked in Science & MathematicsChemistry · 1 decade ago

How can something have a negative boiling point?

I'm doing a report on Fluorine and it has a boiling point of -188C. How can something boil into the negatives? Wouldn't it just freeze rather than become a gas?

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    So to say in simpler terms, every element has different properties and atomic reactivities which makes everyone change according to its own molecular activities in a given pressure. Each element got different boiling point as well as freezing point so you cannot assume that one certain element could behave the way others elements do. Negative temperatures surely means below the freezing point as far as water is concerned but Fluorine is far different from water, thus thinking that a negative temperature means freezing is totally not applicable to all the elements.♥

  • 1 decade ago

    No, because 0C is simply the freezing point of water. It's an artificial zero point, picked because it's convenient for humans on Earth. The absolute zero point (called, appropriately, absolute zero) is -273.15 C, or 273.15 degrees below the temperature water freezes. Absolute zero has very specific thermodynamic properties - it is the temperature where atoms have the minimum molecular vibration, which defines heat. It's too complicated to describe here - suggest you check the reference.

    Anyway, looking at temperatures from absolute zero, all temperatures are positive. Also, every element (and compound) has its own thermodynamic characteristics, including melting point, boiling point, and freezing point. So Fluorine has a boiling point that is 85.15 degrees above absolute zero, water has a boiling point that is 373.15 degrees above absolute zero, and iron (for example) has a boiling point that is 3134 degrees above absolute zero.

    Which simply means that on Earth, Florine in its natural state is always a gas.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It just means that Fluorine is a gas at temperatures above -188C (assuming standard pressure). Just because water boils at 100C doesn't mena that everything does. Look at liquid nitrogen. It is so cold that dipping you hand in it will cause your hand to flash freeze and then break off if it contacts anything. It immediately vaporizes the second you pour it out of its container (which means its boiling point is also negative).

  • jang
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Boiling Point Of Gases

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  • 1 decade ago

    at any temperature, some of the molecules are fast enough to leave the surface and become gas (remember that even in days when the temperature is below zero, the clothe that you hang outside will dry) the gas that forms above a liquid in every temperature, has a pressure. this is called partial pressure. the partial pressure will rise with temperature. when the partial pressure is equal to the atmospheric pressure, we say that the liquid is boiling. some materials have such week bonds between their molecules that their partial pressure is very high, so they will boil in negative temperature. because of their week bonds they need even lower temperatures to freeze. for example Helium is gas until around 4K (it's -269C) and is liquid between 4 to 1 K

    no one has ever seen the solid helium.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Most gases have negative boiling points (and melting points). zero degrees celsius isn't "absolute zero". It's just the point at which water freezes.

    Flourine freezes way below the freezing point of water, as does oxygen, carbon dioxide, helium, hydrogen, etc

  • 1 decade ago

    No, because the freezing point of fluorine is even lower (-219.6 C).

  • 1 decade ago

    Because its freezing point is below -188C so therefore it is boiling at that point

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