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Oxygen (O): Fun Facts and Information About the Element

What is the symbol? O
What is the atomic number? 8
What is the atomic weight? 15.9994
What is the melting point in Celsius? -218
What is the boiling point in Celsius? -183
What is the density (g/cm3)? 1.43
What percent of the earths crust? 46.71
What year was it discovered? 1774
Who discovered the element? Joseph Priestley
What group is the element in? 16
What is the electron configuration? [He] 2s2 2p4
What is the ionization energy? 13.6181
What element category is it in? Other Nonmetals

Where is Oxygen Found?

Oxygen is the third most abundant element found in the sun, and it plays a part in the carbon-nitrogen cycle, the process once thought to give the sun and stars their energy. Oxygen under excited conditions is responsible for the bright red and yellow-green colors of the Aurora Borealis.

A gaseous element, oxygen forms 21% of the atmosphere by volume and is obtained by liquefaction and fractional distillation. The element and its compounds make up 49.2%, by weight, of the earth’s crust. About two thirds of the human body and nine tenths of water is oxygen.

In the laboratory it can be prepared by the electrolysis of water or by heating potassium chlorate with manganese dioxide as a catalyst.

What is Oxygen Used For?

Plants and animals rely on oxygen for respiration. Hospitals frequently prescribe oxygen for patients with respiratory ailments.