I read this in an old chemistry book. It says:

When selenium is dropped into melted phosphorus, it dissolves rapidly, and the compound sinks through the liquid phosphorus in red streaks.

My question is whether the phosphorus is red or white?

  • $\begingroup$ Molten phosphorus is always P4 afaik. $\endgroup$ – Karl Jan 13 '20 at 8:05

Liquid phosphorus is white phosphorus. It melts at 44.1 °C. Red phosphorus does not melt. It burns at 200 °C and sublimes in an argon atmosphere at 280 °C, without melting.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ ...and by sublimation, it turns into P4 anyway. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Jan 13 '20 at 9:13

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