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volatile material

(material with low condensation temperature)

Volatile material (or "a volatile") is material with a low condensation temperature (essentially, boiling point), i.e., not a refractory material. It can be an element (volatile element) or compound (volatile compound). When a planet is forming, cooling from a high temperature, volatiles have more time to escape, a reason for their low abundances later on.

Volatiles include water, methane, molecular hydrogen, and the familiar molecules of the Earth's atmosphere.


Referenced by:
ice giant
potassium/thorium ratio (K/Th ratio)
Moon formation
nitrogen (N)
refractory material