noun[mass noun] Chemistry
The existence of two or more different physical forms of a chemical element.
- With the exception of nitrogen, all group V elements show allotropy.
- An example of allotropy is carbon, which can exist as diamond, graphite, and amorphous carbon.
- The best known example for allotropy is iron.
- Example sentences
- Synthetic diamonds are produced by forcing an allotropic transition from graphite to diamond under conditions of extremely high temperature and mechanical pressure over a period of several days or weeks.
- Manganese exists in four allotropic forms, the most common of which is stable to a temperature of about 1,300°F.
- Graphite is one of the four allotropic forms of carbon; the other three are amorphous carbon, diamond, and fullerene.
Mid 19th century: from Greek allotropos 'of another form', from allo- 'other' + tropos 'manner' (from trepein 'to turn').
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: al¦lot|ropy
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