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General Info
Atomic Symbol Atomic symbol::O
Atomic Number Atomic number::8
Atomic Weight Atomic weight::15.9994 g/mol
Chemical series Chalcogens
Appearance transparent(gas)
very pale blue(liquid)
Group, Period, Block 16, 2, p
Electron configuration 1s2 2s2 2p4
Electrons per shell 2, 6
Electron shell Oxygen.png
CAS number CAS number::7782-44-7
Physical properties
Phase gas
Density Density::0.001429 g/ml
Melting point Melting point::53.36 K
Boiling point Boiling point::90.20 K
Isotopes of Oxygen
iso NA half-life DT DE (MeV) DP
16O 99.76% 16O is stable with 8 neutrons.
17O 0.039% 17O is stable with 9 neutrons.
18O 0.201% 18O is stable with 10 neutrons.
All properties are for STP unless otherwise stated.

Oxygen is a very important chemical element known by the chemical symbol O. It makes up most of the earth that we live in. It is one of the most widely used elements that we know of. By mass, Oxygen is the third most abundant element in the atmosphere and the most abundant in the earths crust. One of the reasons that it is so important is because it is necessary in the process of respiration. Oxygen constitutes for about twenty percent of the air that we breathe. Oxygen's symbol is O and atomic number is 8. On the Periodic Table of Elements it is located with the nonmetals. Oxygen plays a huge role in respiration, combustion, and even photosynthesis. The element Oxygen is one of the most well known elements to date. It is apart of our everyday lives, sometimes we don't even realize how much.


It is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas. It can exist as a liquid, a solid, or a gas. It changes from a gas to a liquid at 361.328 and changes from a liquid to a solid at -361.12. When it is in its liquid and solid states it is a pale blue color. [1] Oxygen is denser than air and slightly soluble in water. It is a poor conductor of heat and energy. It is chemically active, but it does not burn. Oxygen bonds with all other elements except for the inert gases. [2]

Since oxygen is highly reactive it forms compounds easily, especially oxides. Oxygen has the second highest electro-negativity of all of the reactive elements. It is also the third most abundant element by mass and makes up about half of the earth's crust mass. [3] Oxygen is essential to human life. It makes up 21% of the air we breathe. While oxygen supports combustion it does not burn. [4] Oxygen exists in all three allotropic forms. Diatomic Oxygen is the most common allotrope, Ozone is another common allotropic form that oxygen can exist in. It can exist in many other forms, but most of the rest are unstable. [5]


Oxygen has many different occurrences. It makes up about half of the earth's make up and about half of the earth's crust. This makes it about two times as abundant as silicon which is the next most common element. Surprisingly oxygen is in water, vegetables, almost all rocks and some minerals. Oxygen is about ninety percent of water, which is the compound H2O. About two thirds of the human body is water, which is an oxygen compound [6] Oxygen is the second biggest part in the compound of air [7]

Oxygen makes up much of the world around us. It supports combustion and respiration. Oxides are compounds that contain oxygen and another element, carbonates contain oxygen, carbon, and another element. These are common examples of oxygen compounds that occur all around us. [8]


This is a picture of water, which is one of the many compounds that oxygen is found in.

Oxygen has many different uses. Since oxygen is very reactive, it can combine with many other elements and can form thousands of different compounds. It is necessary for plants, animals and humans. [9] Oxygen is probably most commonly used as the air that we use to breathe, but it has many other uses. Many times Oxygen Therapy is used as a medical treatment. They often use it to supply people who cannot breathe oxygen through their noses. It is used sometimes for people who have smoked for many years and other times it is used after major traumas to the body. [10]

Oxygen is also used in many different businesses. It is often used for chemical applications. There are mining companies that use oxygen compounds to blow up rocks. Different forms are also used to make iron and steel. Often it is used for different kinds of blow torches. The oxygen is used to oxidize materials and make them mold able. Oxygen is also used in spaceships as a liquid. Astronauts also use oxygen masks while they are in space. [11]


This is a picture of Joseph Priestley, one of the discoverers of oxygen.

Oxygen was suggested to throughout history. Leonardo daVinci was the first to say that air was a combination of two elements. It was identified in 1774 by Carl Scheele and John Priestly. They both made their discoveries separately [12] Oxygen is given its name from the Greek words "oxy genes" which means acid former. The way that nitrogen and oxygen reacted with each other caused some confusion over the makeup of air. While Dalton was arranging his periodic table in 1807 he gave oxygen the symbol O [13]

Since its discovery, oxygen has been continually found in different parts of our everyday lives. A new popular use of oxygen is oxygen bars. This is a trend that started in the late 90's. It is said to relieve stress and sometimes even help athletes to regain energy. Some people use it as a cure for hangovers. This is a new trend that is popping up more and more. Overall, oxygen is a huge part of the world that we live in. People even now are finding new uses for it as we learn more and more about science [14]


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  11. Uses-of-oxygen. Uses-of. Web. Last Accessed October 9, 2013. Unknown Author.
  12. Gagnon, Steve. The-Element-Oxygen. Its-Elemental. Web. Last Accessed October 23, 2013.
  13. Winter, Mark. Oxygen:Historical-Information. WebElements. Web. Last Accessed October 23, 2013.
  14. Oxygen-Bars. Medicine-net. Web. Last updated 2013. No Author.