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Last updated date: 03rd Dec 2023
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MVSAT Dec 2023

Explain the structure of white phosphorus.

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Hint: White phosphorous is the most common form of phosphorous and in this, there are four units of phosphorous and each P-atom is linked to one another through the single bonds having the bond angle as ${{60}^{\circ }}$. Now with the help of this you can easily draw its structure.

Complete answer:
First of all, let’s discuss phosphorus. Phosphorus is a non0-metal which comes under the category of the p-block elements. It has the atomic number as 15and mass number as 31. It lies in the 15th group and 3rd period of the periodic table and belongs to the nitrogen family. It has three electrons in its outermost valence shell and has a strong tendency to gain three more electrons to complete its valency and to acquire the nearest noble gas electronic configuration.
Now considering the statement as;
White phosphorus is the most common variety of phosphorus and it is obtained from phosphorite rock with coke and sand in an electric furnace at 1775K.
Its main properties are as below:-
 1. It is soft , translucent white waxy solid with a garlic smell.
2. It can be cute with a knife.
3. It melts at 317 K and boils at 553K.
4. It is insoluble in water but soluble in benzene, carbon disulphide and in liquid ammonia.
5. it glows in dark i.e. it shows the property of chemiluminescence.
The structure of white phosphorus consists of four P-atoms lying at the corners of a regular tetrahedron with the bond angle of ${{60}^{\circ }}$. Each phosphorus is bonded to the other three P-atoms by covalent bonds, so that each P-atom completes its valence shell.
Its structure is as follows;-
seo images

- White phosphorus is very less stable and therefore, more reactive than the other solid phases under the normal conditions. It is so because of the angular strain in the ${{P}_{4}}$ molecules where the angles are only ${{60}^{\circ }}$ as depicted in the structure above.