AskDefine | Define molten

Dictionary Definition

melt n : the process whereby heat changes something from a solid to a liquid; "the power failure caused a refrigerator melt that was a disaster"; "the thawing of a frozen turkey takes several hours" [syn: thaw, thawing, melting]


1 reduce or cause to be reduced from a solid to a liquid state, usually by heating; "melt butter"; "melt down gold"; "The wax melted in the sun" [syn: run, melt down]
2 become or cause to become soft or liquid; "The sun melted the ice"; "the ice thawed"; "the ice cream melted"; "The heat melted the wax"; "The giant iceberg dissolved over the years during the global warming phase"; "dethaw the meat" [syn: dissolve, thaw, unfreeze, unthaw, dethaw]
3 become more relaxed, easygoing, or genial; "With age, he mellowed" [syn: mellow, mellow out]
4 lose its distinct outline or shape; blend gradually; "Hundreds of actors were melting into the scene" [syn: meld]
5 become less clearly visible or distinguishable; disappear gradually or seemingly; "The scene begins to fade"; "The tree trunks are melting into the forest at dusk" [syn: fade]
6 become less intense and fade away gradually; "her resistance melted under his charm" [syn: disappear] [also: molten]molten adj : reduced to liquid form by heating; "a mass of molten rock" [syn: liquefied, liquified]molten See melt

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. Melted.
    molten wax
    molten rock
  2. made from molten substance
  3. glowing red-hot


Made from molten substance
Glowing red-hot


  1. past participle of melt

Extensive Definition

Melting is a process that results in the phase change of a substance from a solid to a liquid. The internal energy of a solid substance is increased (typically by the application of heat) to a specific temperature (called the melting point) at which it changes to the liquid phase. An object that has melted completely is molten.
The melting point of a substance is a characteristic property. The melting point may not be equal to the freezing point. This is evident in the phenomenon known as supercooling. In the case of water, ice crystals typically require a seed on which to begin formation. Water on a very clean glass surface will often supercool several degrees below the melting point without freezing. Fine emulsions of pure water have been cooled to -38 degrees celsius without the nucleation of ice taking place. For this reason, melting point is a characteristic property of a substance while freezing point is not.

Molecular vibrations

When the internal energy of a gas is increased by the application of an external energy source, the molecular vibrations of the substance increases. As these vibrations increase, the substance becomes more and more ordered. Fusion is also another term used for this.

Constant temperature

Substances melt at a constant temperature, the melting point. Further increases in temperature (even with continued application of energy) do not occur until the substance is molten.

The thermodynamics of melting

From a thermodynamics point of view, at the melting point the change in Gibbs free energy (\Delta G) of the Material is zero, because the enthalpy (H) and the entropy (S) of the material are increasing (\Delta H, \Delta S > 0). Melting phenomenon happens when the Gibbs free energy of the liquid becomes lower than the solid for that material. At various pressures this happens at a specific temperature. It can also be shown that:
\Delta S = \frac
The "T","\Delta S", and "\Delta H" in the above are respectively the temperature at the melting point, change of entropy of melting, and the change of enthalpy of melting.


Other meanings

In genetics, melting DNA means to separate the double-stranded DNA into two single strands by heating or the use of chemicals.
See also : Polymerase chain reaction
molten in Bulgarian: Топене
molten in Catalan: Fusió (canvi d'estat)
molten in Czech: Tání
molten in Danish: Smeltning
molten in German: Schmelzen
molten in Estonian: Sulamine
molten in Modern Greek (1453-): Τήξη
molten in Spanish: Fusión (cambio de estado)
molten in Basque: Urtze
molten in Persian: ذوب
molten in French: Fusion (physique)
molten in Italian: Fusione (fisica)
molten in Hebrew: התכה
molten in Latvian: Kušana
molten in Lithuanian: Lydymasis
molten in Dutch: Smelten (faseovergang)
molten in Japanese: 融解
molten in Low German: Smölten
molten in Polish: Topnienie
molten in Portuguese: Fusão
molten in Russian: Плавление
molten in Simple English: Melting
molten in Slovak: Topenie
molten in Slovenian: Taljenje
molten in Finnish: Sulaminen
molten in Swedish: Smältning
molten in Tamil: உருகுதல்
molten in Turkish: Erime
molten in Ukrainian: Плавлення
molten in Chinese: 融化
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