Name Phosphorus
Symbol P
Atomic Number 15
Atomic Mass 30.974 atomic mass units
Number of Protons 15
Number of Neutrons 16
Number of Electrons 15
Melting Point 44.1 C
Boiling Point 280.0 C
Density 1.82 grams per cubic centimeter
Normal Phase Solid
Family Nonmetals
Period 3
Cost $4 per 100 grams



Origin of Name From Greek words phos, meaning light and phoros meaning bearer
Date and Place of Discovery In 1669 in Germany
Discovered by Hennig Brand
Common Compounds
Interesting facts
  • It is not found free in nature but is found in many different minerals.
  • It was first made commercially for the match industry in the 19th century.
Common Uses
  • It is an essential nutrient for all plant and animal life.
  • It is used in inorganic fertilizer.
  • Detergents
  • Flame-retardants
  • Corrosion inhibitors
  • Scale inhibitors in water heaters and boilers
  • Pesticides


Photo Courtesy of
Australian Department of Environment
Chemical Elements

Phosphorus Atomic Structure Elements by Name Elements by Number Home