Related topics: nitrogen

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam

The ultimate degree of control for engineering would be the ability to create and manipulate materials at the most basic level, fabricating devices atom by atom with precise control.

The history of China as told through phosphorus

(—Phosphorus is a necessary component of fertilizers needed for agriculture. In 2013 about 225 million tons of phosphate was extracted predominantly for fertilizer use. This rate could diminish the Earth's phosphorus ...

Could black phosphorus be the next silicon?

As scientists continue to hunt for a material that will make it possible to pack more transistors on a chip, new research from McGill University and Université de Montréal adds to evidence that black phosphorus could emerge ...

New inorganic aromatic ion

(—Aromatic molecules are a staple of organic chemistry. Aromatics, like benzene, have a unique pi-electron character that makes the ring structure exceptionally stable. While aromatics are typically reserved for ...

Phosphorus a promising semiconductor

( —Defects damage the ideal properties of many two-dimensional materials, like carbon-based graphene. Phosphorus just shrugs.

Quantum world record smashed

A normally fragile quantum state has been shown to survive at room temperature for a world record 39 minutes, overcoming a key barrier towards building ultrafast quantum computers.

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Phosphorus (pronounced /ˈfɒsfərəs/) is the chemical element that has the symbol P and atomic number 15. A multivalent nonmetal of the nitrogen group, phosphorus is commonly found in inorganic phosphate rocks. Elemental phosphorus exists in two major forms - white phosphorus and red phosphorus. Although the term "phosphorescence", meaning glow after illumination, derives from phosphorus, glow of phosphorus originates from oxidation of the white (but not red) phosphorus and should be called chemiluminescence.

Due to its high reactivity, phosphorus is never found as a free element in nature on Earth. The first form of phosphorus to be discovered (white phosphorus, discovered in 1669) emits a faint glow upon exposure to oxygen — hence its name given from Greek mythology, Φωσφόρος meaning "light-bearer" (Latin Lucifer), referring to the "Morning Star", the planet Venus.

Phosphorus is a component of DNA, RNA, ATP, and also the phospholipids which form all cell membranes. It is thus an essential element for all living cells. The most important commercial use of phosphorus-based chemicals is the production of fertilizers.

Phosphorus compounds are also widely used in explosives, nerve agents, friction matches, fireworks, pesticides, toothpaste and detergents.

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