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You are watching: The element oxygen, represented by the symbol o, is classified as


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oxygen group element, also called chalcogen, any type of of the 6 chemical elements making up team 16 (VIa) the the regular classification—namely, oxygen (O), sulfur (S), selenium (Se), tellurium (Te), polonium (Po), and livermorium (Lv). A relationship in between the first three members that the team was known as early as 1829; tellurium to be assigned its place by 1865, and polonium was discovered in 1898. In 2000, Russian and American physicists created livermorium, the 6th member of team 16, in a fragment accelerator.

Natural occurrence and uses

Estimates the the proportions of the miscellaneous kinds of atoms in the universe put oxygen fourth in abundance, ~ hydrogen, helium, and also neon, yet the prominence of such a ranking is slight, since hydrogen atoms account for virtually 94 percent that the total and helium for most of the rest. About three atoms out of 10,000 room oxygen, but because the mass of one oxygen atom is roughly 16 times that of a hydrogen atom, oxygen constitutes a larger portion of the fixed of the universe, though still only about 0.5 percent. In the areas ordinarily available to man, however—i.e., within a couple of kilometres that the surface of the Earth—oxygen is the most abundant element: in mass, it makes up about 20 percent the the air, about 46 percent that the solid late of the Earth, and around 89 percent of the water.


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Test her bond with the routine table of aspects in this quiz on all 118 chemical elements and also their symbols. You might be familiar with the chemical icons for hydrogen and oxygen, however can you complement such lower-profile aspects as gadolinium and also erbium through their matching symbols?

Oxygen is stood for by the chemical symbol O. In the air, oxygen exists mostly as molecules each consisted of of two atoms (O2), although small amounts that ozone (O3), in which three atoms that oxygen make up each molecule, are current in the atmosphere. Oxygen is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas crucial to living organisms, gift taken increase by animals, which transform it to carbon dioxide; plants, in turn, make use of carbon dioxide together a resource of carbon and return the oxygen come the atmosphere. Oxygen creates compounds by reaction with virtually any other element, and also by reactions the displace facets from their combinations v each other; in many cases, these processes are accompanied by the evolution of heat and also light and in such cases are dubbed combustions.

In cosmic abundance, sulfur ranks ninth amongst the elements, audit for only one atom that every 20,000–30,000. Sulfur occurs in the uncombined state and in mix with other elements in rocks and minerals that room widely distributed, although the is classified among the minor ingredient of the earth crust, in i beg your pardon its proportion is approximated to be between 0.03 and 0.06 percent. ~ above the basis of the recognize that specific meteorites contain about 12 percent sulfur, it has actually been suggested that deeper layers of the earth contain a much larger proportion. Seawater contains about 0.09 percent sulfur in the form of sulfate. The many important source is secret deposits of an extremely pure sulfur existing in domelike geologic structures where the sulfur is believed to have actually been formed by the activity of bacteria ~ above the mineral anhydrite, in i m sorry sulfur is linked with oxygen and also calcium. Deposits of sulfur in volcano regions more than likely originated from gaseous hydrogen sulfide generated listed below the surface of the Earth and transformed into sulfur through reaction with the oxygen in the air.


Sulfur exists under ordinary problems as a pale yellow, crystalline, nonmetallic solid; that is odourless and also tasteless, combustible, and insoluble in water. Its chemical symbol is S. It reacts v all metals other than gold and platinum, creating sulfides; it likewise forms compounds with several of the nonmetallic elements. Number of million lots of sulfur are created each year, mainly for the manufacture of sulfuric acid, i beg your pardon is widely provided in industry.

The element selenium (symbol Se) is much rarer than oxygen or sulfur, comprising roughly 90 parts per exchange rate of the tardy of the Earth. It is occasionally uncovered uncombined, accompanying native sulfur, yet is an ext often discovered in combination with heavy metals (as copper, mercury, lead, or silver) in a couple of minerals. The principal commercial resource of selenium is as a by-product that copper refining; its significant uses room in the produce of digital equipment, in pigments, and also in making glass. The gray, metallic form of the facet is the many stable under simple conditions; this form has the unusual building of significantly increasing in electrical conductivity when exposed to light. Selenium compounds space toxic come animals; tree grown in seleniferous soils might concentrate the element and also become poisonous.

Tellurium is a silvery-white facet (symbol Te) v properties intermediate between those the metals and also nonmetals; it provides up about one component per exchange rate of the earth crust. Like selenium, the is less often uncovered uncombined 보다 as compounds of steels such as copper, lead, silver, or gold, and is derived chiefly together a by-product the the refining of copper or lead. No big use for tellurium has actually been found.

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Polonium (symbol Po) is an extremely rare, radioactive facet found in minerals containing uranium. It has actually some clinical applications as a resource of alpha radiation.