Oxygen is a vital part of the respiratory process in all living organisms. Without oxygen, life would not be possible on the planet Earth. If all the oxygen present in the atmosphere was suddenly removed, all life would suffocate and die. Therefore, to highlight this extremely important element, here are 6 features of oxygen that every student should know.
- Oxygen is one of the p block elements and has 6 electrons in the valence shell. It generally obtains a noble electronic configuration by forming two covalent bonds. Its electronic configuration is given by [He]2s22p4.
- It is a member of the group 16 elements. The group 16 elements are collectively called the chalcogens. Oxygen also corresponds to the second period of the modern periodic table.
- It has a melting point of 54.36 K and a boiling point of 90.188K. At standard conditions of temperature and pressure, oxygen exists in the gaseous state. Its density at these conditions corresponds to 1.429 grams per liter.
- Oxygen exhibits the following oxidation states: -2, -1, +1, +2. It has an electronegativity of 3.44 as per the Pauling scale.
- The discovery of oxygen is credited to the German chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele, who discovered it in the year 1771. It was given the name ‘oxygen’ in the year 1777 by the French chemist Antoine Lavoisier.
- Oxygen is a widely used oxidizing agent and is an integral part of the hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells (the electrochemical cells that convert potential energy from fuels into electrical energy) that are used commercially in NASA space programmes.
Thus, it is evident that oxygen is one of the most important elements in the day to day lives of humans. To learn more about oxygen and how it is absorbed in the human body by the lungs, subscribe to the BYJU’S YouTube channel and turn on notifications.