Problem: A common form of elemental phosphorus is the tetrahedral P4 molecule, where all four phosphorus atoms are equivalent. At room temperature phosphorus is a solid.On the basis of formal charges, which is more stable, the linear molecule or the tetrahedral molecule?

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A common form of elemental phosphorus is the tetrahedral P4 molecule, where all four phosphorus atoms are equivalent. At room temperature phosphorus is a solid.
A diagram shows P4 as four atoms arranged in a pyramid shape, each single bonded to the other three atoms.
On the basis of formal charges, which is more stable, the linear molecule or the tetrahedral molecule?

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