What you Need
Phosphorus is a very reactive element that can exist in several different allotropes or structures. It gets its name which means light-bringer in Greek, because white phosphorus will glow when exposed to the oxygen in the air. Energy released by the phosphorus slowly oxidising (burning) is given off as light.
But Dr Hal wanted to release the energy more rapidly, so he filled a large jar with pure oxygen and then lit a piece of phosphorus and then sealed the jar.
What to do
What may happen
Why does it happen?
White phosphorus burns in the oxygen to form phosphorus pentoxide and lots of energy.
P4 + 10 O2 -> 2 P2O5
This means that the gas in the smoke is very hot, so the smoke rises and is rather beautifully lit by the light given off by the flame.
The smoke is made up of tiny lumps of solid P2O5 suspended in gas. These lumps weigh the gas down so that when the smoke cools enough it will sink through the colder air at the base of the chamber.
This sinking produces the beautiful tendrils as the smoke falls and the air rises to take its place,