Asked in Elements and Compounds
How many electrons are in a phosphorus atom?
There are 15 electrons in a phosphorus atom, but only if it is neutral. The element phosphorus, a nonmetal, is not found free in nature because it is reactive and has loaned out two or more electrons. It has a number of oxidation states ranging through 2, 3, 4 and 5 (and also a -3). The number electrons in a given phosphorus atom will vary depending on its chemical circumstances.