Oxygen - A Breath Of Fresh Air Leah Rakhlin, Bryan Science, F Period

My element is Oxygen (O), I have studied this element thoroughly and by the end of this site, I hope that you will know almost as much as me. Oxygen was originally discovered by Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1773 in Sweeden (http://www.chemicalelements.com), but because he didn't record his results therefor someone else took credit for the invention. Even though Scheele invented oxygen, Joseph Priestly from the United Kingdom (www.chemeddl.org/collections/ptl/) was the first to discover it in addition to recording his results in 1774. The name oxygen comes from the greek word oxus, which means acid, and the german word gennan, to generate (http://www.chemicalelements.com).


The atomic number of oxygen is 8 and the atomic mass is 15.9994 atomic mass units. There are 8 protons and electrons, and the number of neutrons is 8 as well. (http://www.chemicalelements.com)

Different stable isotopes http://www.chemicalelements.com

Oxygen is the most abundant element on earth, 47% of earth's crust consists of oxygen. Most of the oxygen exists in compounds - oxides, silicates and water. (http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=359)

One of the biggest natural sources of oxygen is photosynthesis. Oxygen is produced in the process of photosynthesis (as shown in the picture). The chemical equation is carbon dioxide + water ---light---> glucose + oxygen. The oxygen is a waste product in this process and it is released through the stomata of the plant. (notes from science 7). About 50% of oxygen on earth is produced by Phytoplankton. Phytoplankton is the micro algae that resides in the upper layers of the ocean and produces oxygen throughout the process of photosynthesis. Another large portion of Earth's oxygen is produced by seaweed and the rest by land plants. (http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=359)


Oxygen is something that living organisms need in everyday life. The number one use is respiration, in order to stay alive, you must breathe oxygen. Oxygen plays an important role in medicine, when people are having difficulty breathing, the masks are used to supply patients with extra oxygen. In addition to that oxygen is used to kill bacteria. Another use for oxygen is for industrial purposes, it can help cut, weld, and melt metals. Lastly, oxygen is used in many chemical reactions to produce acids and other compounds. (http://www.usesof.net/uses-of-oxygen.html#navigation)


One of the interesting scientific facts I have discovered while researching this project is that the green and red colors in The Northern and Southern lights are caused by oxygen atoms. Fast electrons from the solar wind break molecules of oxygen into high energy atoms of oxygen. These atoms lose energy in the form of light particles (photons) that cause pretty light shows like the Aurora Borealis. (http://www.chemicool.com/elements/oxygen-facts.html)



Created with images by Simon - "sky clouds atmosphere"

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