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Celebrating 150 years of the periodic table

Dr. Katrin Hurle does research on calcium phosphate for use as bone substitute at FAU´s Chair for Mineralogy. (Image and image editing: FAU/Luisa Macharowsky)

For the 150th anniversary of the periodic table, we asked our scientists about their favourite element

Dr. Katrin Hurle, Chair of Mineralogy, on phosphor:

“My favourite element is phosphor (P) – a very exciting element. You wouldn´t want to hold white phosphor in your hands because you could literally burn your fingers. Conversely, without phosphor we wouldn´t be able to hold anything in our hands – there would be no “construction plan” for us because phosphate is part of our genome. Furthermore, essential components would be missing as our skeleton mostly consists of the calcium phosphate mineral Hydroxylapatite. Therefore, I am also concerned with calcium phosphate for use as bone substitute. Thus, phosphor can be either vital or extremely dangerous – it depends on the environment.”


Further interviews within the framework of the “150 Jahre Periodensystem” series as well as more exciting stories about FAU can be found on our website and the FAU Facebook page.

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