Students of chemistry have to come across numberless essential topics. From matters or metals; everything comes under the zone of chemistry. Oxygen is one such element about which a student of this similar field should know from the core. It is one of the most important elements present on this earth, as it is a part of air we breathe and water we drink. Oxygen is element which supports many life forms; however, it might be harmful for others. There are numerous facts about Oxygen which are not commonly known to all.
If you are interested to know some quintessential facts of oxygen, check them out now. Listed below are such facts about Oxygen which will definitely shock you.
- Help in combustion:
Oxygen supports combustion but does not burn.The process of combustion requires three necessary substances fuel, energy and oxidizer. Now are you wondering what roles oxygen plays in process? Oxygen is an oxidizing agent, i.e. it accepts electrons during a chemical reaction.
Oxygen is more soluble in water when compared to Nitrogen. Nitrogen does not dissolve easily in water, and if rate of solubility for O2 is same as Nitrogen it would result in lakes and seas with very low levels of dissolved oxygen.
- Daily consummation:
More than two-thirds of one’s weight is owing to the oxygen consuming one’s body. A major part of living beings is made up of water, where approximately ninety percentage of it is added by oxygen one is consuming every day.
The quantity of oxygen present on this earth varies each day as some of it is used up and some is created daily. It is a never-ending cycle as neither consumption nor production ever ceases. All living organisms consume O2 to survive, while plants replenish these supplies by creating oxygen during photosynthesis. Without green plants it is not possible for life to continue on Earth as the quantity of O2 will reduce continually without any way to replenish the quantity of this life giving gas. If life in the form of plants is found on any other planets, scientists can assume that life is possible on these platforms. Since, plants produce oxygen regularly life can besupported on a planet.
- In earth’s crust:
Oxygen is one of the main components which make up the Earth’s crust. The other elements are aluminum silicon, calcium, and iron. The most important and abundantcompound thus, become silicates. There are numerous applications of silica and silicates. Silicates are one of the most widely available minerals in the earth’s crust. 90% of the Earth’s crust is now made up ofsilicates as they are available in plenty in the form of rocks. These rocks are mostly available in form of minerals.
- Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis:
The northern and southern lights are caused by the oxygen atoms. This beautiful phenomenon is caused due to the presence of highly energetic electrons. These electrons from solar wind affect the oxygen molecules, by splitting them to individual atoms that are forced to react.
The earth’s atmosphere gets filled with high energy atoms which are in excited state.These atoms eventually lose energy by emitting photons. The release of photons is what causes these wonderful light shows that have been mesmerizing humans for many years.These displays occur close to the poles due to the difference incomposition of atmosphere.Solar electrons hit only in the Polar Regions, since they get aligned along the planet’s magnetic field.
Oxygen is manufactured even in the stars.Hydrogen and helium are the only elements created along with universe. Some traces of boron, beryllium and lithium were also generated. All the other elements available to mankind today have been created through the nuclear fusion reactions of stars. Heavier elements were created by joining lighter elements which are available at centre of stars.
The outer layers of a star are continuously thrown back into space, which creates the vision of twinkling of stars.The processed material is also thrown away from the star in the form of gas clouds. These gas clouds lead to the formation of other stars as well as the planet we reside on. Our entire solar system is made up of remains of stars which previously existed.Other than Hydrogen and helium other elements available to us have been recycled. They were created on the stars and not on the earth.
Oxygen, a paramagnetic and non-metal has three naturally stable isotopes, which are O-16, O-17 and O-18. All three isotopes have specific uses in medical applications. The first stable form, O-16 is used to create a radioactive isotope of nitrogen, N-13 which is used for PET imaging and also myocardial perfusion. O-17 is used for tracing. Its role in that of a tracer in the study concerned with cerebral oxygen utilization. The largest isotope is used for manufacturing F-18 in large quantities. This isotope is used as a tracer for PET. PET is a procedure which is conducted to examine several diseases in more than one human organ.
Ozone, an allotrope of oxygen protects the earth from harmful UV radiation.Have you ever heard of the UV radiation of the sun and how it affects all things which come in contact with these rays? To know more on this, head to the library or search the internet for websites like us which cater to students who find chemistry difficult to comprehend.
In order to protect itself and all life forms residing on it a layer of gas is present in the atmosphere. This layer made up of Ozone, a molecule made up of three oxygen atoms, so that the harmful effects of sun’s rays do not harm anyone. This layer is considered to be protective since, it lies in the stratosphere, which is far away from the air that humans breathe in.
If this molecule is present in the troposphere, layer of atmosphere closest to earth, it is considered to be a pollutant and has adverse impact on human health. This gas is required in the stratosphere and not in the troposphere. It absorbs the harmful radiation that is contained in the sun rays directed to an area. The most common ailment one suffers due to UV radiation is skin cancer.
Well, Oxygen is one of the most useful gases and all life forms rely on its presence on this planet. Even though it does not seem important knowledge of oxygen and its properties is necessaryto obtain proper knowledge of Chemistry.