In thermodynamics, the triple point of a substance is the temperature and pressure at which the three phases (gas, liquid, and solid) of that substance coexist in thermodynamic equilibrium. For example, the triple point of mercury occurs at a temperature of −38.8344 °C and a pressure of 0.2 mPa.
In addition to the triple point between solid, liquid, and gas, there can be triple points involving more than one solid phase, for substances with multiple polymorphs. Helium-4 is a special case that presents a triple point involving two different fluid phases (see lambda point). In general, for a system with p possible phases, there are triple points.
The triple point of water is used to define the kelvin, the SI base unit of thermodynamic temperature. The number given for the temperature of the triple point of water is an exact definition rather than a measured quantity. The triple points of several substances are used to define points in the ITS-90 international temperature scale, ranging from the triple point of hydrogen (13.8033 K) to the triple point of water (273.16 K).
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... One effect of defining the Celsius scale at the triple point of Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water (VSMOW, 273.16 K and 0.01 °C), and at absolute zero (0 K and −273.15 °C ... in Resolution 3 first considered using the triple point of water as a defining point, the triple point was so close to being 0.01 °C greater than water's known melting point, it was ... However, current measurements show that the difference between the triple and melting points of VSMOW is actually very slightly ( ...
... This table lists the gas–liquid–solid triple points of common substances. 0.12 Formic acid 281.40 7000220000000000000 2.2 Helium-4 (lambda point) 2.19 7000510000000099999 5.1 Hexafluoroethane 173.08 7001266000000000000 26.60 Hydrogen ...
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