theoretical plate

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English Wikipedia has an article on:

theoretical plate (plural theoretical plates)

  1. (physics, chemistry) A plate or tray in a distillation column that produces the best possible difference between the liquid and vapour phases in equilibrium with it; the equivalent concept in a fractionating column packed with beads or rings

Usage notes[edit]

  • The number of theoretical plates in a fractionating column is a measure of its ability to separate components.