The spin-reorientation phase transition in SmCrO3 at T33°K is studied using acoustic-velocity and specific-heat measurements. Although the reorientation occurs within a narrow temperature region (1°K) the acoustic data show clearly that the process is a continuous one, involving two second-order phase transitions. All the observed effects, including those induced by externally applied magnetic fields are satisfactorily accounted for using a phenomenological model with magnetoelastic coupling terms. The thermal anomaly associated with the spin reorientation is also observed and used to calculate the uniaxial energy of the chrome spin system.
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Supported in part by a grant from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), Jerusalem, Israel.