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Red Phosphorus
Red Phosphorus
The Discovery of Phosphorus
"More than 300 years ago, in 1669, Hennig Brand, a Hamburg alchemist, like most chemists of his day, was trying to make gold. He let urine stand for days in a tub until it putrified. Then he boiled it down to a paste, heated this paste to a high temperature, and drew the vapours into water where they could condense - to gold. To his surprise and disappointment, however, he obtained instead a white, waxy substance that glowed in the dark. Brand had discovered phosphorus, the first element isolated other than the metals and non-metals, such as gold, lead and sulphur, that were known to the ancient civilisations. The word phosphorus comes from the Greeks and means light bearer" Source





  • There are 3 forms of Phosphorus, including red, white, and black.
  • The P atoms are joined together by three single bonds in different ways, in all three forms of Phosphorus.
  • Although the discovery of Phosphorus was an accident, it turned out to be a very valuable mistake.Phosphorus, sometimes called “cold fire”, allows people to produce fire on demand.
  • Phosphorus is the second most abundant element in the human body, and can be found in human bone and teeth.

The Alchemist in Search of the Philosophers Stone (1771) by Joseph Wright, depicts Hennig Brand discovering phosphorus
The Alchemist in Search of the Philosophers Stone (1771) by Joseph Wright, depicts Hennig Brand discovering phosphorus



1660-1670

  • 1964 french east india trading co is founded
  • 1965 The "Great Plauge" starts in london
  • 1966 freat londen fire destroys most of londen and ends the plauge
  • 1660s piracy is in its golden age in the carribean
  • 1670s calculus is developed
wiki 1960s

Uses today

  • nessecary in fertilizers
  • used as a flame retardent
  • used in many metals such as steel and phosphor bronze
  • used in making special glasses
  • used in china and porcelin
  • used in some laundrey detergents
  • used in soda beverages, and baking soda
  • used by military for incendiary bombs, smoke screens, and tracer rounds
  • used in matches
  • used as a radioactive tracer
  • used in herbiceds such as glyphosate also known as "roundup"