triple point(redirected from triple points)
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in thermodynamics, the point on a phase diagram at which three different phases of a substance can coexist in equilibrium.
It follows from the phase rule that there cannot be more than three phases in equilibrium in a substance consisting of one chemical element or compound, that is, a one-component system. The three phases may be, for example, the solid, liquid, and gas phases or, as in the case of sulfur, the liquid phase and two al-lotropes of the crystalline phase. The phases can coexist only for specific values of temperature T and pressure p, which determine the coordinates of the triple point on the p-T diagram.
For example, for carbon dioxide the triple-point temperature Ttp = 216.6°K, and the triple-point pressure ptp = 5.12 atmospheres. At the triple point of water, which is the fundamental fixed point of the absolute thermodynamic temperature scale, Ttp = 273.16°K (exactly), and ptp = 4.58 mm Hg.