Phosphorus (P) – Periodic Table [Element Information & More]

phosphorus element periodic table

Phosphorus element (P) is in group 15 and period 3 of a periodic table. Phosphorus is in the p-block and it is classified as a nonmetal on the periodic table.

There is a lot more information related to phosphorus which is mentioned in the Information Table given below.

So let’s dive right into it!

Table of contents

Phosphorus Element (Information Table)

The important data related to phosphorus element is given in the table below.

Appearance of phosphorusYellow or Waxy white, Red, Violet, Metallic
Atomic number of phosphorus15
Symbol of phosphorusP
Atomic mass of phosphorus30.974 u
Protons, Neutrons & Electrons in phosphorusProtons: 15, Neutrons: 16, Electrons: 15
State of phosphorus (at STP)Solid
Group number of phosphorus in periodic table15
Period number of phosphorus in periodic table3
Block of phosphorus in periodic tablep-block
Category of phosphorusNonmetals (pnictogens)
Bohr model or Electrons per shell or Electrons arrangement in phosphorus2, 8, 5
Electron configuration of phosphorus[Ne] 3s2 3p3
Orbital diagram of phosphorusorbital diagram of phosphorus
Valence electrons in phosphorus5
Electronegativity of phosphorus (on pauling scale)2.19
Atomic radius of phosphorus (van der Waals radius)180 picometers
Density of phosphorus1.823 g/cm3
1st ionization energy of phosphorus10.487 eV
Main isotope of phosphorus31P
Melting point of phosphorus317.3 K or 44.15 °C or 111.5 °F
Boiling point of phosphorus553.7 K or 280.5 °C or 536.9 °F
Crystal structure of phosphorusOrthorhombic
Discovery of phosphorusBy Hennig Brand in 1669

Also see: Interactive Periodic Table (It has rotating bohr models as well as many other details of all the 118 elements in a single periodic table).

Phosphorus element in Periodic table

The Phosphorus element (P) has the atomic number 15 and is located in group 15 and period 3. Phosphorus is a nonmetal and it is classified as a pnictogen element.

Click on above elements in the periodic table to see their information.

Facts about phosphorus

Here are a few interesting facts about phosphorus element.

  1. It is believed that the phosphorus is present on the earth because of meteorites.
  2. Phosphorus element is the 11th most abundant element present in the earth’s crust.
  3. The amount of white phosphorus present in the earth’s crust is approximately 1050 ppm by weight.
  4. The phosphorus element is also found in the human body and it is approximately 750 grams. The bones as well as DNA and RNA contain phosphorus.
  5. The pure phosphorus can harm the human body.
  6. White phosphorus causes chemical burns, when it comes in contact with the human body.

Properties of phosphorus

Here is a list of some physical properties and chemical properties of phosphorus.

Physical properties of phosphorus

  • Phosphorus has a waxy white appearance, but it is also found in other colors like red, yellow, and metallic color.
  • As phosphorus is a nonmetal, it is a bad conductor of heat and electricity. But the phosphorus that is having a metallic color can conduct electricity.
  • The melting point and boiling point of white phosphorus are 44.15 °C and 280.5 °C respectively.
  • The white phosphorus glows in the air.

Chemical properties of phosphorus

  • Phosphorus is always found with other elements in the earth’s crust because it is a chemically reactive element.
  • White phosphorus is very reactive and because of this reason, it is kept in water.
  • Phosphorus forms phosphides when it is heated with metals.
  • Phosphorus also reacts with halogens.
  • Phosphorus has many isotopes, but the only stable isotope is 31P.

Uses of phosphorus

Here are some uses of the phosphorus element.

  • The main use of phosphorus is in making fertilizers.
  • Sodium triphosphate is a compound of phosphorus that is used in making detergents.
  • The red phosphorus is used on the matchbox for igniting the matchsticks.
  • Dicalcium phosphate is a compound of phosphorus that is used in toothpaste which acts as a polishing agent.
  • Flares, LEDs as well as matchsticks also use phosphorus.

External resources:

  1. Phosphorus – American Chemical Society. (n.d.). American Chemical Society. https:///greenchemistry/research-innovation/endangered-elements/phosphorus.html
  2. Krafft, F. (1969, September). Phosphorus. From Elemental Light to Chemical Element. Angewandte Chemie International Edition in English, 8(9), 660–671.
  3. It’s Elemental – The Element Phosphorus. (n.d.). It’s Elemental – the Element Phosphorus.
  4. Atomic Weight of Phosphorus | Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights. (n.d.). Atomic Weight of Phosphorus | Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights.
  5. Atomic Data for Phosphorus (P ). (n.d.). Atomic Data for Phosphorus (P ).
  6. Phosphorus | P | ChemSpider. (n.d.). Phosphorus | P | ChemSpider.
  8. Haynes, W. M. (Ed.). (2014, June 4). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.
  9. Emsley, J. (2011). Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. United Kingdom: OUP Oxford.
  10. Sansonetti, J. E., & Martin, W. C. (2005, December). Handbook of Basic Atomic Spectroscopic Data. Journal of Physical and Chemical Reference Data, 34(4), 1559–2259.
  11. Bondi, A. (1964, March). van der Waals Volumes and Radii. The Journal of Physical Chemistry, 68(3), 441–451.
  12. James A. M. & Lord M. P. (1992). Macmillan’s chemical and physical data. Macmillan.
  13. Holden, et al. (2018, December 1). IUPAC Periodic Table of the Elements and Isotopes (IPTEI) for the Education Community (IUPAC Technical Report). Pure and Applied Chemistry, 90(12), 1833–2092.
  14. Allred, A. (1961, June). Electronegativity values from thermochemical data. Journal of Inorganic and Nuclear Chemistry, 17(3–4), 215–221.
  15. Kaye, G W.C., & Laby, T H. Tables of physical and chemical constants. 15th Edition. United States.
  16. Zhang, Y., Evans, J. R. G., & Yang, S. (2011, January 11). Corrected Values for Boiling Points and Enthalpies of Vaporization of Elements in Handbooks. Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 56(2), 328–337.
  17. Possolo, A., van der Veen, A. M. H., Meija, J., & Hibbert, D. B. (2018, January 4). Interpreting and propagating the uncertainty of the standard atomic weights (IUPAC Technical Report). Pure and Applied Chemistry, 90(2), 395–424.

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