Question

It is quire common for a solid to change from one structure to another at a temperature below its melting point. For example, sulfur undergoes a phase change from the rhombic crystal structure to the monoclinic crystal form at temperatures above 95C95 ^ { \circ } \mathrm { C }. Which form of sulfur has the more ordered crystalline structure (has the smaller positional probability)?

Solution

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Here we have the process:

SrhombicSmonoclinic\mathrm{S}_\mathrm{rhombic} \rightarrow \mathrm{S}_\mathrm{monoclinic}

Has rhombic or monoclinic sulfur more ordered crystalline structure

In different physical states, the order of the entropy is:

Ssolid<Sliquid<Sgas\mathrm{S}_\mathrm{solid}<\mathrm{S}_\mathrm{liquid}<\mathrm{S}_\mathrm{gas}

\star Both structures have unequal cell dimensions but the rhombic structure has equal unit cell angles so we can conclude that rhombic sulfur is a more ordered phase of sulfur

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