Hennig Brand, (flourished 1670, Hamburg [Germany]), German chemist who, through his discovery of phosphorus, became the first known discoverer of an element. Some sources describe his origins as humble and indicate that he had been an apprentice glassmaker as a young man. In the waning days of World War II, a psychiatrist raced across Germany to uncover the harrowing abuses of Nazi doctors. Corrections? History. A military officer and self-styled physician, Brand has often received the undeserved title “last of the alchemists” because of his continual search for the philosopher’s stone, which reputedly could change base metals into gold. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Who Discovered Nitrogen Nitrogen was discovered by David Rutherford in 1772. Phosphorus Pentafluoride, PF5. Question: Who was phosphorus discovered by? These engravings are among the very finest of the 18th century. Its atomic number is 15 and it is represented by symbol P. It is a mineral element essential for living organisms. And like the fascinated colleagues to whom he showed his new compound, Brandt assumed it was composed of these elements. Brandt called it phosphorus, a Latin term for things that give off light. Brandt discovered phosphorus due to another characteristic it has. What is most interesting about phosphorus is how it was discovered. The reason was quite obvious. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The Free and Hanseatic City (Freie und Hansestadt) of Hamburg is the second smallest of the 16 Länder of Germany, with a territory of only 292 square miles (755…, Physical science, the systematic study of the inorganic world, as distinct from the study of the organic world, which is the province of biological science. The elemental discovery of phosphorus. News of Brandt's discovery must have spread rapidly, and although he tried to keep i… 2. Within 100 years phosphorus was appearing in chemistry textbooks, such as P. J. Macquer’s popular Elements of Theoretical and Practical Chemistry. To celebrate we pieced together some of the funniest, grossest, and most surprising moments in Distillations history. Not less than 50-60 buckets per experiment in fact, each of which required more than a fortnight to complete. Brandt’s was an era that still saw a world made up of four elements: fire, air, water, and earth. Brand is somewhat famous in chemistry. In the seventeenth century alchemists (see alchemy) used many materials in their search for the "philosopher's stone," a supposedly magical substance that would turn base metals into gold. NOW 50% OFF! The discovery of P indicates cometary delivery as a potential source of these elements to the young Earth. The name Phosphorus in Ancient Greece was the name for the planet Venus and is derived from the Greek words (φῶς = light, φέρω = carry), which roughly translates as light-bringer or light carrier. On the other hand, the discovery of phosphorus opened up a dazzling new chapter in what became modern chemistry. Some other important methods to obtain red phosphorus are discussed in this subsection. The glowing, waxy substance had never been seen before. The Alchymist (1775) by engraver William Pether, after the 1771 painting by Joseph Wright of Derby. This innovation made it possible for printers to reproduce painterly contrasts from bright whites to rich velvety blacks. The Science History Institute’s building is currently closed to the public. boiling down about 1,200 gallons of urine. The Alchemist Who Discovered Phosphorus in Pee. Phosphorus compounds are vital for life. The discovery of phosphorus was made when an alchemist, Hennig Brand, tried to make gold from urine. Did you know that phosphorus was discovered from ... urine? The elemental form was discovered around 1669 by the German alchemist Hennig Brandt. Phosphorus was first made by Hennig Brandt at Hamburg in 1669 when he evaporated urine and heated the residue until it was red hot, whereupon phosphorus vapour distilled which he collected by condensing it in water. William Pether, a leading English engraver, produced spectacularly subtle and nuanced renderings of The Alchymist (painted by Wright in 1771), as well as a dazzling mezzotint of Wright’s Orrery (1766), also in the Science History Institute collection. This compound was discovered by Thorpe, who prepared it by the reaction between AsF 3 and PCl 5:— 5AsF 3 + 3PCl 5 = 3PF 5 + 5AsCl 3 The same method and precautions may be adopted as already described for the trifluoride. In any case he held a post as a junior army officer during the Thirty Years' War and his first wife's dowry was substantial, allowing him to pursue alchemy on leaving the army. This popular story was printed and re-printed in chemical histories during Wright's lifetime. An engraving in the Science History Institute’s collections hints at the ways art and science were intertwined in the Age of Enlightenment. Each of…. When he evaporates the urine and heats the residue until it gets hot. Thankfully, phosphorus is now … Its discovery dates back in the year of 1669 by the German alchemist Hennig Brand. Henning Brand was experimenting with urine to try and create the ‘philosopher’s stone’. He is sometimes called the last of the alchemists. In some forms, phosphorus can glow! He called it noxious air or fixed air. Earlier origins are a mystery, as phosphorus may have been discovered in ancient Rome, then its secret lost through the ages (Emsley, 2000). It is also a vitally important plant nutrient. Although Brand kept his process a secret, phosphorus was discovered independently in 1680 by an English chemist, Robert Boyle. Wright's painting thus may represent the discovery of phosphorus attributed to the Hamburg alchemist Hennig Brandt in 1669. A military officer and self-styled physician, Brand has often received the undeserved title “last of the alchemists” because of his continual search for the philosopher’s stone, which reputedly could change base metals into gold. Phosphorus was first discovered in 1669 by German physician Hennig Brand (ca. The philosopher’s stone was something capable of … Merchant and alchemist Henning Brand important elements necessary for life may have been delivered to the discovery Uranus... Engraver William Pether, who discovered phosphorus the 1771 painting by Joseph Wright of Derby particles from... S collections hints at the highest temperature his furnace could reach largest and! 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