Critical Point Definition

What Is the Critical Point in Chemistry?

This is a phase diagram, which includes the critical point and triple point.
This is a phase diagram, which includes the critical point and triple point. Booyabazooka, Wikipedia Commons

Critical Point Definition

The critical point or critical state is the point at which two phases of a substance initially become indistinguishable from one another. The critical point is the end point of a phase equilibrium curve, defined by a critical pressure Tp and critical temperature Pc. At this point, there is no phase boundary.

Also Known As: critical state

Critical Point Examples

The liquid-vapor critical point is the most common example, which is at the end point of the pressure-vapor temperature curve distinguishing a substance's liquid and vapor.

The meniscus between steam and water vanishes at temperatures above 374°C and pressures above 217.6 atm, forming what is known as a supercritical fluid.

There is also a liquid-liquid critical point in mixtures, which occurs at the critical solution temperature.