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Thread: O or O2

  1. #1 O or O2 
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    hi paul here, im new here, were having an arguement in the fire station over the chemical symbol for Oxygen. is it O....or O2. if it is O, which I think it is, then what is O2. im sorry if this question is very basic for you but we are only firefighters dont forget, i would appreciate any feedback. thanks for your time. Paul. :?


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  3. #2 Re: O or O2 
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    Quote Originally Posted by beats666
    hi paul here, im new here, were having an arguement in the fire station over the chemical symbol for Oxygen. is it O....or O2. if it is O, which I think it is, then what is O2. im sorry if this question is very basic for you but we are only firefighters dont forget, i would appreciate any feedback. thanks for your time. Paul. :?
    On The periodic table the element oxygen is just stated as "O". But molecular oxygen(the stuff you actially breathe in) is O2.


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  4. #3  
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    cheers maxwell, but what is the significance of the 2 the lads will need an explanation.
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  5. #4  
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    The O2 molecule, also called dioxygen or diatomic oxygen, has two oxygen atoms bonded together. Another form of oxygen is triatomic oxygen, O3, which has three atoms and is called ozone.
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  6. #5  
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    thanks harold, ive now got a bit more to go on, ill do a bit of research into diatomic oxygen and ozone today before i go to work tonight.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Ph.D. GhostofMaxwell's Avatar
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    Just say the "2" is the numer of atoms in the covalent bond. That should shut them up.
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  8. #7  
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    Hey, Beats. I got here late but I'll still add my 2* cents anyway.

    The symbol for the element oxygen is simply O, representing a single atom of oxygen. But you'll never find any single oxygen atoms floating around in nature. A single atom always combines with another one to form the molecule O2 which is the stuff we breathe.

    As has also been pointed out, in rare cases three atoms hook up to form ozone, O3. Hope this helps.
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  9. #8  
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    thats great thanks everyone im going to spend a bit more time in here, broaden the mind an all that :-D
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  10. #9  
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    Ahh, I'd always wondered what the lads did in their spare time at the fire house. Now I know.

    You could impress your mates by mentioning hydrogen, which has the same properties (elemental hydrogen=H v molecular hydrogen=H2, and both hydrogen as well as oxygen are of interest to firefighters, one would think.)
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  11. #10  
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    good point and very well put, thanks
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