Really white phosphorus.
|Sample Image | Spin Video | QuickTimeVR Rotation|
|Really white phosphorus.|
White phosphorus is almost always tinged with yellow. So much so that "yellow phosphorus" is an alternate name for this allotrope of phosphorus. Why? Because white phosphorus turns yellow spontaneously on exposure to light. Kind of like those quantum mechanical phenomena that you can't observe without changing: If you look at your white phosphorus too long, it will turn yellow. But fortunately not too fast: I photographed 360 frames of this ampule rotating around a complete circle, which takes half an hour, and it did not become noticeable yellow. I had turned my studio lights as low as I could, under full intensity illumination, and certainly under sunlight, it probably would have developed some yellow in that time.
Now that it's been photographed, this ampule will stay in the dark until there's a really good reason to get it out again.
Source: Ivan Timokhin
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 28 December, 2006
Text Updated: 21 January, 2007