The name is derived from the Greek word ‘phosphorus’, bringer of light. It was discovered in 1669.
It exists in three different forms: red, white and black. The white form glows in the dark, but it is quite unstable and turns from white to yellow to red under the influence of light.
Phosphorus ignites very easily, which is why it is used in matches.
Phosphates, in the form of ATP, adenosinetriphophates, are important carriers of energy within the body. Phosphates also play an important role within the nervous system.