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What makes the first 3 alkanes decrease in melting point (m.p.) while after that they rise?

$$ \begin{array}{lr} \hline \text{Alkane} & \text{m.p.}/\pu{°C} \\ \hline \text{Methane} & -182 \\ \text{Ethane} & -183 \\ \text{Propane} & -188 \\ \text{Butane} & -138 \\ \text{Pentane} & -130 \\ \text{Hexane} & -95 \\ \text{Heptane} & -91 \\ \text{Octane} & -57 \\ \hline \end{array} $$

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