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Phosphorus Properties

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What are  the Properties of Phosphorus? Definition of Phosphorus
What is the definition of Phosphorus? It is a highly reactive, poisonous, non-metallic element occurring naturally in phosphates, especially apatite. It exists in three allotropic forms, white , red and black. Allotropes are forms of an element with different physical and chemical properties occurring in two or more crystalline forms in the same physical state.

The Physical and Chemical Properties are the characteristics of a substance, like Phosphorus, which distinguishes it from any other substance.  Most common substances, like Phosphorus, exist as States of Matter as solids, liquids, gases and plasma. Refer to the article on Phosphorus above for additional information and facts about this substance.

Phosphorus Properties - What are the Physical Properties of Phosphorus?
What are the Physical Properties of Phosphorus? The Physical properties of Phosphorus are the characteristics that can be observed without changing the substance into another substance. Physical properties are usually those that can be observed using our senses such as color, luster, freezing point, boiling point, melting point, density, hardness and odor. The Physical Properties of Phosphorus are as follows:

  • White phosphorous is white, waxy solid. It gives off a greenish-white glow. It glows in the dark, is spontaneously flammable when exposed to air and is deadly poison  It does not dissolve well in water

  • Red phosphorous is a powder which can vary in colour from orange to purple, due to slight variations in its chemical structure. It does not dissolve in many liquids

  • Black phosphorous, is made under high pressure, looks like graphite powder and has the ability to conduct electricity

Phosphorus Properties - What are the Chemical Properties of Phosphorus?
What are the Chemical Properties of Phosphorus? They are the characteristics that determine how it will react with other substances or change from one substance to another. The better we know the nature of the substance the better we are able to understand it. Chemical properties are only observable during a chemical reaction. Reactions to substances may be brought about by changes brought about by burning, rusting, heating, exploding, tarnishing etc. The Chemical Properties of Phosphorus are as follows:

  • White phosphorus exhibits the most activity
  • Red and black phosphorus are considerably more passive in chemical reactions
  • The oxidation of white phosphorus occurs through a chain reaction. The oxidation of phosphorus is often accompanied by chemiluminescence
    • Chemiluminescence is the emission of light during a chemical reaction that does not produce significant quantities of heat
  • Phosphorus combines directly with all halogens
  • When heated with metals, phosphorus forms phosphides.
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