Phosphorus | Descriptions, Chemical and Physical Properties, Uses & Facts

Phosphorus | Descriptions, Chemical and Physical Properties, Uses & Facts

Exploring the Fascinating World of Phosphorus


Phosphorus, a captivating element with atomic number 15 and symbol P, holds a unique place in the periodic table. Let's delve into its various forms, compounds, and intriguing properties.


Phosphorus is a non-metal with diverse allotropes, including white, red, and black phosphorus.

It exhibits a range of oxidation states, contributing to its versatility in forming compounds.

Atomic Number and Atomic Mass:

- Atomic Number: 15

- Atomic Mass: Approximately 30.97 u

Chemical Properties:

Highly reactive, phosphorus readily forms compounds with various elements.

Combines with oxygen to create phosphorus oxides, such as P2O5.

Forms acids like phosphoric acid (H3PO4) and phosphorus acid (H3PO3).

Physical Properties:

White phosphorus is a waxy, translucent solid.

Red phosphorus appears as a powder and is more stable than its white counterpart.

Black phosphorus has a layered structure and behaves like a semiconductor.

Phosphorus Facts:

Essential for life, phosphorus is a key component of DNA, RNA, and ATP.

Discovered in 1669 by Hennig Brand, who isolated it from urine.

Now, let's explore some specific compounds and forms of phosphorus:

1. Pyridoxal 5-Phosphate:

  • The active form of vitamin B6.
  • Plays a crucial role in amino acid metabolism.

2. KH2PO4 (Potassium Dihydrogen Phosphate):

  •  A salt commonly used in buffer solutions.
  •  Finds applications in the food industry.

3. Zinc Phosphate ZnSO :

  • Corrosion-resistant coating for metals.
  • Used in dental cements and as a pigment in paints.

4. Red Phosphorus:

  • More stable than white phosphorus.
  • Used in safety matches and flame retardants.

5. PBr3 (Phosphorus Tribromide):

  • Reagent in organic synthesis, especially for converting alcohols to alkyl bromides.

6. P2O5 (Phosphorus Pentoxide):

  • Anhydride of phosphoric acid.
  • Dehydrating agent used in chemical reactions.

7. Phosphorus Acid (H3PO3):

  • Used in the synthesis of various phosphites.
  • Acts as a reducing agent.

8. Black Phosphorus:

  • Exhibits semiconductor properties.
  • Gaining attention for potential applications in electronic devices.

9. Phosphorus 30C:

  • Homeopathic remedy derived from phosphorus.
  • Used in alternative medicine practices.


In conclusion, the realm of phosphorus is vast and multifaceted, from its fundamental role in biology to its applications in various industries. This overview only scratches the surface of the intricate chemistry and significance of phosphorus in our world.

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