Why does phosphorus have a low melting point?

1 Answer
Jan 1, 2018

Answer:

#"White or yellow phosphorus"# has a melting point of #44.0# #""^@C#...

Explanation:

White phosphorus is molecular, i.e. we deal with discrete #P_4# tetrahedra. And molecular species should be reasonably volatile or low-melting in that the degree of intermolecular interaction is not substantial. On the other hand, there are several non-molecular allotropes of elemental phosphorus, the which have higher melting and boiling points.