Why is the melting point of nitrogen ($\ce{N2}$) greater than that of oxygen ($\ce{O2}$)? After all, both are non-polar, and $\ce{O2}$ has more electrons than $\ce{N2}$.

In addition, why is the boiling point of both opposite? I mean, why is the boiling point of oxygen greater than that of nitrogen, even though the melting point of nitrogen is greater than that of oxygen?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Crystal structures are different, so the solid bonding is different. Details of this inter-molecular interactions are clearly different. If you want a simple answer it won’t happen… $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jan 26 at 1:28
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This is a valid question which does not have a simple answer. Most questions involving crystal structures in one way or another are like that. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 26 at 7:12
  • $\begingroup$ For boiling point comparisons see here. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 27 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer, but I didn't really understand its connection. If we talk about boiling point, then the boiling point of oxygen is higher than that of nitrogen because the London forces are stronger in oxygen, and there is no point in going to such a level of depth. $\endgroup$
    – Saar Segen
    Commented Jan 27 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ Please read my answer more carefully. Fluorine has more electrons but its bp drops off. We have to go more in depth to learn why. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 27 at 19:48


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