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Phosphorus- Nicole

Page history last edited by Nicole G 8 years, 8 months ago






      What is Phosphorus?







Phosphorus is a nonmetal element, with a symbol P and atomic number 15.


Phosphorus was discovered in 1669 by Hennig Brandt, by boiling, filtering and processing buckets of urine.

Now a days we obtain phosphorus from phosphate rock.


It is a solid at room temperature and has three main allotropes: ("Each of two or more different physical forms in which an element can exist.")


White phosphorus is poisonous and can ignite involuntarily when in contact with air (approx. 300C).

It gives off smoke and glows in the dark when in contact with oxygen, this is where phosphorus got its name, which in Greek means "light bearing", 'phosphoros'.





Red phosphorus is formed by heating white phosphorus to 2500C. It is not poisonous and is more stable.




Black phosphorus is the least reactive and least common form of phosphorus.









                                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSYLUat03A4&feature=plcp                                                                                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6_-EUcswSc&feature=plcp

The video demonstrates the extreme reactiveness of white phosphorus. It describes the atomic structure of white phosphorus as being 4 phosphorus (P4) atoms connected as a pyramid with high activity. A minute within the video he does an experiment with the white phosphorus. He fills a flask with sand and places a piece of white phosphorus at the bottom. He manually supplies oxygen into the flask, so it becomes much more concentrated. To speed up the process of oxidation, he heats up a copper rod and places it closely to the phosphorus.  White phosphorus is highly combustible when in contact with oxygen at approx. 300C. The copper rod increases the temperature

 quickly. The flask then lights up with flames and white smoke. The final experiment show the white phosphorus dissolved in carbon disulfide. He places it on filter paper and lets it dry. Once it comes in contact with air and reaches its reactive temperature, it bursts and produces heavy smoke. 




                        What is atomic number?                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                       http://www.ndt-ed.org/EducationResources/HighSchool/Radiography/atomicmassnumber.htm / notes


Atomic number is the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom.


For example, Phosphorus has an atomic number of 15.

Meaning, it is the only element that has 15 protons and an atomic number of 15.








  What is atomic mass?



Atomic mass is the measurement of the mass of an atom.

About 99% of an atom's mass comes from its nucleus.

The atom's nucleus is made up of protons and neutrons.


When you add up the number of protons and neutrons of an atom, you get the atomic mass.


Phosphorus has an atomic mass of 30.973762, so approximately 31. 





             What contains Phosphorus?





Phosphorus is a natural nutrient need for plant growth and health.


 It plays a role in: photosynthesis

                   cell division

                                                     plant's ability to use sugars and starches


Plants absorb the phosphorus through their roots.


Phosphorus is found in fertilizers because it is an efficient way of supplying plants with needed phosphorus.






    None-Safety Matches


Red phosphorus is found at the "head" of matches.


Phosphorus is the active ingredient that when stricken on a rough surface, ignites by frictional heat



                                                                                    File:Zapalky makrofoto.jpg

                                                                                                                          http://www.photo-dictionary.com/photofiles/list/833/1261matches.jpg                                                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Zapalky_makrofoto.jpg






 Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the human body.


Calcium, being the most abundant mineral in the body, works closely with phosphorus to build strong bones and teeth.


Phosphorus helps:filter out waste in the kidneys  

                                                                                      the body store and use energy 

                                                                                      growth, maintenance, repair of all tissues and cells

                                                                                      produce DNA





   Military Applications




Phosphorus is used in military grenades, and mortar and artillery shells.

It is used to mark targets and provide a smokescreen.


The phosphorus is highly active and ignites once in contact with oxygen.

It bursts into flames and creates a dense white smoke.







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