Chemical Elements History and Information Oxygen

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

The Atomic Elements and Their Uses

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

Oxygen O 8 15.9994

Discovered by Karl Scheele of Sweden in 1772. Independently discovered by Joseph Priestley of England in 1774. Recognized as a component of the atmosphere and named by Antoine Lavoisier of France in 1775-1777. Oxygen atoms usually come in pairs (O2). Oxygen in triplets (O3) is called ozone. At an altitude of about 20 mi., the sun's ultraviolet rays produce an ozone layer which shields us from the danger of the rays. Some scientists suspect that supersonic jets and aerosol propellants are diminishing the ozone layer. Ozone and oxygen in the atmosphere make the sky blue by absorbing the red and yellow colors in sunlight.

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