Phosphorus is a chemical element with an atomic number of 15, which means that the atomic structure includes 15 protons and 15 electrons. The element phosphorus was discovered in 1669 by the physician and alchemist Hennig Brand of Hamburg. For Phosphorus, the chemical symbol is P.
- Phosphorus is a highly reactive clement
- Must be stored underwater for safekeeping to prevent it from catching fire spontaneously in the air.
- Red phosphorus is more stable than white phosphorus and is made up of long chains of phosphorus atoms.
Phosphorous with water
Phosphorus has a white colour in its pure form. White phosphorus is the most dangerous source of phosphorus known to us. When white phosphorus occurs in nature, it can pose a serious risk to our health. White phosphorus is extremely toxic and, in many cases, it will be fatal.
- White phosphorus is insoluble in water and is therefore stored underwater to prevent oxidation.
- Yellow phosphorus was being used in the manufacture of Lucifer matches.
- White phosphorus is luminous in the dark, poisonous and flammable, igniting spontaneously in the air unless stored underwater.
Most phosphorus is used in combination with other elements as compounds but the element does have some uses. It is used to create smokescreens for military operations.