Melting

Curriculum check:    ✓ Edexcel IGCSE      ✓ OCR GCSE


A solid turning into a liquid

When you heat a solid, it melts and becomes a liquid. Here’s the exact process:

  1. As the particles in the solid are heated, its temperature increases until it reaches its melting point.
  2. This “melting point” is the temperature at which there is enough heat energy to break the strong forces of attraction between the particles in a solid.
  3. It’s important to note that, at this melting point, the kinetic energy of the particles does not increase and so the temperature remains constant.
  4. The temperature increases as the now liquid state of matter is heated – at which point the heat energy is transferred to the kinetic energy of the particles.

Solidification is the reverse process, it turns a liquid into a solid. As a hot liquid loses heat energy to its surroundings, its temperature falls. and the particles arrange themselves into new “low energy” positions.