One of the most brilliant lights known is produced by burning phosphorous in oxygen. The apparatus usually employed for this purpose is bulky and expensive, but the following is a very simple method of producing a very intense light by the combustion of phosphorous: Take an amount of nitre proportional to the desired intensity and duration of the light required, dry it thoroughly, powder it and pack it solidly in an earthen vessel, leaving a small cup-like hollow in its upper surface. In this hollow place a piece of phosphorous which has been carefully dried with soft paper or rags and set it on fire. As the phosphorous burns, the nitre melts, decomposes and furnishes it with pure oxygen, and the resulting light is very brilliant.
In handling phosphorous be very careful. Do not touch it with the hands or rub it with the article used to dry it, as it takes fire very easily, and the burns produced by it are very severe. It should always be cut under water.