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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{#invoke:Protection banner|main}} {{#invoke:Pp-move-indef|main}} {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Use mdy dates |date=__DATE__ |$B= }} {{#invoke:Infobox|infobox}} Oxygen is a chemical element with symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member of the chalcogen group on the periodic table and is a highly reactive nonmetallic element and oxidizing agent that readily forms compounds (notably oxides) with most elements.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> By mass, oxygen is the third-most abundant element in the universe, after hydrogen and helium.<ref name="NBB297">Emsley 2001, p.297</ref> At standardized conditions for temperature and pressure, two atoms of the element bind to form dioxygen, a colorless and odorless diatomic gas with the formula O{{#invoke:Su|main}}. Diatomic oxygen gas constitutes 20.8% of the Earth's atmosphere.<ref name="ECE500"/> However, monitoring of atmospheric oxygen levels show a global downward trend, because of fossil-fuel burning.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Oxygen is the most abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust as part of oxide compounds such as silicon dioxide, making up almost half of the crust's mass.<ref name="lanl"/>

Many major classes of organic molecules in living organisms, such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and fats, contain oxygen, as do the major inorganic compounds that are constituents of animal shells, teeth, and bone. Most of the mass of living organisms is oxygen as it is a part of water, the major constituent of lifeforms. Oxygen is used in cellular respiration and released by photosynthesis, which uses the energy of sunlight to produce oxygen from water. It is too chemically reactive to remain a free element in air without being continuously replenished by the photosynthetic action of living organisms. Another form (allotrope) of oxygen, ozone (O{{#invoke:Su|main}}), strongly absorbs UVB radiation and consequently the high-altitude ozone layer helps protect the biosphere from ultraviolet radiation, but is a pollutant near the surface where it is a by-product of smog. At even higher low earth orbit altitudes, sufficient atomic oxygen is present to cause erosion for spacecraft.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Oxygen was discovered independently by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, in Uppsala, in 1773 or earlier, and Joseph Priestley in Wiltshire, in 1774, but Priestley is often given priority because his work was published first. The name oxygen was coined in 1777 by Antoine Lavoisier,<ref name="mellor" /> whose experiments with oxygen helped to discredit the then-popular phlogiston theory of combustion and corrosion. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς oxys, "acid", literally "sharp", referring to the sour taste of acids and -γενής -genes, "producer", literally "begetter", because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition. Common uses of oxygen includes the production cycle of steel, plastics and textiles, brazing, welding and cutting of steels and other metals, rocket propellant, in oxygen therapy and life support systems in aircraft, submarines, spaceflight and diving.


Oxygen sections
Intro  Characteristics  History  Industrial production   Storage   Applications  Compounds  Safety and precautions  See also  Notes  Citations  References  External links  

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