allotropy

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allotropy

allotropy (əlŏˈtrəpē) [Gr.,=other form]. A chemical element is said to exhibit allotropy when it occurs in two or more forms in the same physical state; the forms are called allotropes. Allotropes generally differ in physical properties such as color and hardness; they may also differ in molecular structure or chemical activity, but are usually alike in most chemical properties. Diamond and graphite are two allotropes of the element carbon. Ozone is a chemically active triatomic allotrope of the element oxygen. Phosphorus, sulfur, and tin also exhibit allotropy. Many metals have allotropic crystalline forms that are stable at different temperatures. Polymorphism is an analogous phenomenon observed in chemical compounds.
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allotropy

[ə′lä·trə·pē]
(chemistry)
The assumption by an element of two or more different forms or structures which are most frequently stable in different temperature ranges, such as different crystalline forms of carbon as charcoal, graphite, or diamond. Also known as allotriomorphism; allotropism.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

allotropy

, allotropism
the existence of an element in two or more physical forms. The most common elements having this property are carbon, sulphur, and phosphorus
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005