Is Oxygen an Element?


Quick Answer

Oxygen is an element that is found in period two and group 16 on the periodic table of elements. It has an atomic number of 8 and a rounded atomic weight of 16, meaning that the element has eight protons, eight electrons and eight neutrons.

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Full Answer

Oxygen is classified as a nonmetal on the periodic table. At room temperature, it is found as a diatomic element in the form of O2, which is a gaseous compound. The element was first discovered in 1774 by Joseph Priestly and Carl Willhem Scheele. Both scientists discovered the element independently around the same time period; however, only Priestly is typically given credit by the scientific community for the discovery.

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