Phosphorus: a vital accident Annie wallach- Grade 8 - Ms Bryan F Period

The name of this element is Phosphorus. The symbol for this element is P. The name phosphorus was taken or derived from "phosphoros" a greek word that means light bearing. It was discovered by an alchemist named Hennig Brand who prepared it from urine. The preparation of Phosphorus was kept a secret until the year 1770 when it was obtained from bones by Gahn and Scheele.
  • Atomic Number: 15
  • Atomic Mass: about 31 (30.97)
  • Number of Protons: 15
  • Number of Neutrons: 16
  • Number of Electrons: 15
  • Different Stable Isotopes: P-31

Phosphorus is not found free in nature but is distributed in combination with minerals. Containing the mineral apatite, an impure tri-calcium phosphate, is phosphate rock which is an important source of the element.

The largest use of Phosphorus, more specifically Ammonium Phosphate, is as fertilizer. Ammonium phosphate is made from phosphate ores. Phosphoric acid is made into ammonium phosphate after being converted from phosphate ores.

Red Phosphorus is in the material on the side of matchboxes that people use to strike the match against to light.

Phosphorus is very important to all livings things. It is essential when it comes to energy transferring in cells as a part of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). The sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA and RNA is also made and formed by it.

An interesting scientific fact about Phosphorus is that in the average human body, there are 26.5 ounces of phosphate mostly located in the bones.

A fun fact about Phosphorus is that when discovered by Hennig Brand, it was actually accidental as he was trying to figure out a way to turn ordinary metals into gold.

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