Cooling curve

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A cooling curve of naphthalene from liquid to solid.

A cooling curve is a line graph that represents the change of phase of matter, typically from a gas to a solid or a liquid to a solid. The independent variable (X-axis) is time and the dependent variable (Y-axis) is temperature.[1] Below is an example of a cooling curve used in castings.

Cooling curve pure metal.svg

The initial point of the graph is the starting temperature of the matter, here noted as the "pouring temperature"; when the phase change occurs there is a "thermal arrest", that is the temperature stays constant. This is because the matter has more internal energy as a liquid or gas than in the state that it is cooling to; the amount of energy required for a phase change is known as latent heat. The "cooling rate" is the slope of the cooling curve at any point.


  1. ^ Garland, Nibler, and Shoemaker. Experiments in Physical Chemistry (7th ed.)