Chemical Elements History and Information Nitrogen

About the chemical element Nitrogen, its symbol, atomic number and weight, who discovered it and when.

The Atomic Elements and Their Uses

(Element) (Symbol) (Atomic number) (Atomic weight)

Nitrogen N 7 14.0067

Independent simultaneous discovery by Daniel Rutherford of Scotland in 1772, Karl Scheele of Sweden in 1772, and the team of Joseph Priestley and Sir Henry Cavendish of England in 1772-1773. Nitrogen comprises 78% of the air. Skin divers who surface too quickly get the bends from too much oxygen in the blood. They must breathe from tanks containing air at four to five times normal pressure. Under this pressure, extra nitrogen dissolves into the diver's blood. Normally, it is exhaled as the diver rises slowly to the surface. But if the diver surfaces too quickly, the nitrogen doesn't get a chance to dissolve out of the blood and instead forms bubbles in the bloodstream. These bubbles--expanding in joints, in the brain, and in other parts of the body--cause muscular pain, partial paralysis, fainting, and even death.

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