Is a chemical element of atomic number 15, a poisonous, combustible nonmetal that exists in two common allotropic forms, white phosphorus, a yellowish waxy solid that ignites spontaneously in air and glows in the dark, and red phosphorus, a less reactive form used in making matches.

Physical Properties of Phosphorus

  • Has an atomic mass 30.97 amu
  • Radius angstroms of 1.23 a
  • Density 1.8 g/cm
  • Melting point of 44.1°c
  • Boiling point of 280°c
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Chemical Properties

Phosphorous is not quite flammable but reacts with air and explodes


Phosphorus was the 13th element to be discovered. It was the first element to be discovered that was not known since ancient times. The discovery of phosphorus is credited to Dr. Henning Brand in 1669, Brand experimented with urin, which contains phosphates from normal metabolism. Brand attempted to create the fabled philosopher's stone, and in the process produced a white material that glowed in the dark and burned brilliantly.
The Phosphorus Challenge

Important uses

  • Side of match boxes
  • Used for fertilizers
  • Found in body as phosphate (energy production as component of Atp(Adenosine Tri Phosphate( a molecule with a lot of chemical energy))).

Fun Facts

Phosphorus derived from Greek, 'phosphoros' meaning brunger of light.

Brand called it 'cold fire' because it was glowing in the dark.

Work Consulted

Works Cited "Phosphorus." Periodic Table. Royal Society of Chemistry, n.d. Web. 6 Jan. 2016. <>.