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Homework Help: Sublimation of Graphite

  1. Apr 3, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Multiple choice:

    In which of the following processes are covalent bonds broken?
    a) solid sodium chlroide melts
    b) bronze melts
    c) sucrose dissolves in water
    d) solid carbon graphite sublimes
    e) solid carbon dioxide sublimes
    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    D is the correct answer according to my prep book, but I do not understand why this is true.

    I think that sublimation is a physical change and like all physical changes we are overcoming intermolecular forces, not breaking intramolecular bonds. How is D thus true for graphite then?

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 3, 2016 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    There are no intermolecular forces in graphite. It is in a way a special case. Sublimation is just

    C(s) → C(g)

    but in solid C atoms are covalently bonded.
  4. Apr 4, 2016 #3
    Hmm. That is a very interesting thing to think about. Thanks so much for clarifying!
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