The first three alkenes are gases, the next fourteen members are liquids and the higher ones are solids. They are colourless and odourless (except ethylene which has a faint sweet smell), practically insoluble in water but fairly insoluble in non-polar solvents like benzene, petroleum ether, etc. They show a regular gradation in physical properties, such as boiting points, with increasing carbon content. The boiling point of two successive members’of the homologous alkene series differ by about 20-30°C, except for very small homologues. The branched chain alkenes have lower boiling points than the corresponding straight chain alkenes. Like alkanes, alkenes are generally non-polar, but certain alkenes are weakly polar. For example, dipole moment of propene and 1-butene is about 0.35D due to their unsymmetrical geometry.
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