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Phosphors! Or "Things you can do with urine"
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: August 14, 2006 11:11PM
"A phosphor is a substance that exhibits the phenomenon of phosphorescence (sustained glowing without further stimulus).

The chemical element phosphorus (Greek. phosphoros, meaning "light bearer") was discovered by German alchemist Hennig Brand in 1669 through a preparation from urine. Working in Hamburg, Brand attempted to distill salts by evaporating urine, and in the process produced a white material that glowed in the dark. Since that time, the term phosphorescence has been used to describe substances that shine in the dark without burning.

Phosphorus itself is not a phosphor; it is highly reactive and gives-off a faint glow upon uniting with oxygen. The glow observed by Brand was actually caused by the very slow burning of the phosphorus, but as he saw no flame nor felt any heat he did not recognize it as burning.

Phosphors are transition metal compounds or rare earth compounds of various types. The most common uses of phosphors are in CRT displays and fluorescent lights. CRT phosphors were standardized beginning around World War II and designated by the letter "P" followed by a number."

I guess we know why CRT phosphors are designated with the letter "P" followed by a number (probably 1).
[en.wikipedia.org]



My life goes smoothly and in regular intervals
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Re: Phosphors! Or "Things you can do with urine"
Posted by: outcast
Date: August 14, 2006 11:59PM
Does that explain why it burns when I pee?

outcast
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Re: Phosphors! Or "Things you can do with urine"
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: August 15, 2006 12:25AM
The British used to collect the pee of their troops for use in the production of phosphorous for matches. People toiled endlessly trying to find a better way, which they ultimately did. I believe this was covered in Bill Bryson's "A Short History Of Nearly Everything" I seem to remember that it took enormous quantities of urine to produce a minuscule amount of phosphorous. Something like 200 l of urine for 40 g phosphorous. I don't know the actual numbers, but it was horrible process that I'm sure was unpleasant for all involved.

EDIT - From Wikipedia:
The phosphorus Brand's process yielded was far less than it could have been. The salt part he discarded contained most of the phosphate. He used about 5,500 litres of urine to produce just 120 grams of phosphorus. If he'd ground up the entire residue he could have got 10 times or 100 times more (1 litre of adult human urine contains about 1.4g phosphorus).



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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/15/2006 12:31AM by ztirffritz.
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Re: Phosphors! Or "Things you can do with urine"
Posted by: mikebw
Date: August 15, 2006 12:31AM
not gonna go there
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Re: Phosphors! Or "Things you can do with urine"
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 15, 2006 01:12AM
I thought it was for wetting your toes when you laughed.
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Re: Phosphors! Or "Things you can do with urine"
Posted by: TheCaber
Date: August 15, 2006 05:21AM
...and now my toes glow in the dark! what the hey?



=TC
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Re: Phosphors! Or "Things you can do with urine"
Posted by: SteveO
Date: August 15, 2006 10:09AM
Fascinating stuff! Who knew...and man, 5500L of urine? That guy's nickname must have been "Pissboy." LOL.
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Re: Phosphors! Or "Things you can do with urine"
Posted by: davester
Date: August 15, 2006 10:16AM
If you want to know if fido or tabby have been marking territory in the house, get a black light and see the crime scene all lit up. Holy smokes!



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Phosphors! Or "Things you can do with urine"
Posted by: billb
Date: August 15, 2006 06:14PM
[www.urbandictionary.com]
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Re: Phosphors! Or "Things you can do with urine"
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: August 15, 2006 10:35PM
If you want to know if fido or tabby have been marking territory in the house, get a black light and see the crime scene all lit up. Holy smokes!

And if you want to be seriously creeped out, take that light along with you if you are going to be staying in a hotel or motel.



My life goes smoothly and in regular intervals
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