scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 908
PHOSPHORUS In 1669 the German alchemist Hennig Brand discovered the chemical element known as phosphorus The element got its name from the Greek phosphoros meaning light bearing because in the dark and in moist air it can be seen to glow with a dull white light For a time early scientists thought that phosphorus might be the source of the light emitted by fireflies and certain other creatures It is not The firefly s light however as well as that given off by many minerals resembles the light emitted by phosphorus Therefore all such light is commonly called phosphorescence Phosphorus is ordinarily a colorless semitransparent soft waxy solid It ignites spontaneously upon exposure to air giving off dense white fumes Because it is so chemically active it is never found free in nature It is widely distributed in combination with minerals in the Earths crust and in many rocks plants and animals Common mineral forms of phosphorus include apatite wavellite and vivianite The chief commercial source is phosphorite or phosphate rock an impure form of apatite Phosphorus is an essential element for plants and animals Humans and many other creatures need phosphorus to build teeth and bones All living organisms use it to build their cells and to store and use energy Phosphorus is also widely used in fertilizers Types and Uses Phosphorus is a nonmetal that has about ten forms These occur within three major categories white or yellow phosphorus red phosphorus and black or violet phosphorus White phosphorus is by far the most chemically reactive form It is prepared industrially in electric furnaces in which phosphate rock coke and sand or silica pebbles are continuously charged and heated until they are chemically converted into phosphorus vapor carbon monoxide gas and a calcium silicate ashes The stream of gas is cooled to condense the phosphorus to the liquid state and eventually to the solid state which
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA