Talk:Oxygen

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Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide balance in the atmosphereEdit

This may be fine as far as respiration goes, "Respiration then takes the oxygen gas out of the atmosphere and turns it back into carbon dioxide and water. This happens at the same rate, so the amount of oxygen gas and carbon dioxide doesn't change because of it.[32]" but the last part is not true in general. Think it needs some work for the GA proposal. --Gotanda (talk) 06:14, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Oxygen: GA proposalEdit

Moved from my talk page IWI (chat) 21:49, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

I got carried away again... So I thought you might like to see this here rather than in Wikipedia:Proposed good articles. Although I read it, I haven't looked in detail at the whole article, but I'm sure there is no reason why it can't make the grade, if we can just resolve this point.

The word oxygen almost always means O2. And O2 is almost never called dioxygen. If a single article is to cover both O and O2, great care must be taken to be clear at all times which one it is that it is talking about.
To quote from Britannica "The molecular species, O2, is not especially reactive at normal (ambient) temperatures and pressures. The atomic species, O, is far more reactive. The energy of dissociation (O2 → 2O) is large at 117.2 kilocalories per mole." If you care to look at their article, you will see that all four "Preparative Methods Production methods chosen for oxygen" go on to show chemical reactions that produce O2 (labelled oxygen).
To quote from NASA "In the stratosphere, ozone is created primarily by ultraviolet radiation. When high-energy ultraviolet rays strike ordinary oxygen molecules (O2), they split the molecule into two single oxygen atoms, known as atomic oxygen. A freed oxygen atom then combines with another oxygen molecule to form a molecule of ozone." This, by the way, is why you get that ozone smell associated with arcing: the arc dissociates the O2 and the Os reacts with a couple of O2s to give a couple of O3s (not always).
Now, all the sources I have looked at, even dictionaries (which should focus on how a word is used) begin by stating that Oxygen is an element (which is true, but it's not the primary sense of the word, either by usage or historically – Lavoisier gave the name oxygène to the O2 gas he isolated). My view is that we should Simply get it right here!
Oxygen is (as the word is most often used to mean) O2 and a molecule of that contains two atoms of the element. The word "dioxygen" should not appear anywhere in a Simple English article except in a statement that it is rarely used. It occurs just four times in the British National Corpus, and three of those are in the same text, where they seem to be talking about synthesising a fluorine compound, possibly FOOF (just for fun); "molecular oxygen" occurs eight times in seven texts; "allotrope" is used with oxygen just once, talking about ozone. Usually it's just "oxygen", of course, and hard to count, beyond the raw 1877.
"Oxygen is a gas found in air. In this form of oxygen, two atoms of the chemical element oxygen are bound together. The element oxygen has the atomic number 8 and the symbol O. Diatomic oxygen (the form of oxygen found in air) has the symbol O2." is one way a Simple English article might begin. Full disclosure: diatomic oxygen is a rare expression too (it's called "oxygen", remember... See en:Allotropes of oxygen for other alternatives) but the more common molecular oxygen would be misleading before you mention ozone, which is also molecular oxygen, albeit triatomic.
Oxygen is also a constituent of many anions, like carbonate, nitrate, sulphate etc (usually classed together as ox[o/y]anions). Some oxyanion compounds are abundant and important, so some reference seems in order. There are a few oxycations too, if anyone cares.

I hope this helps propel you towards an accepted GA! --GrounderUK (talk) 21:38, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

@GrounderUK:I thank you for your response and I shall move this to the article's talk page, a more appropriate location. I agree with all your points except for your proposed lead. The article must start describing the abstract element and go on to explain why it is almost always O2. I will go through your points over the next week and I, once again, appriciate this feedback greatly. Regards, IWI (chat) 21:47, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Full marks! You started before I finished suggesting it... I fully expected you to stick to the standard order in the lead, and that's fine. Just to be clearer on one point, the various claims for the discovery of oxygen are for discovery of the O2 form. I suppose the credit for O itself goes to Avogadro, but that was a theoretical discovery and largely ignored at the time. No idea who first isolated an atom of the stuff but I guess it would have been through arcing. --GrounderUK (talk) 23:04, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Looking at the first sentence again. How about something like:
"Oxygen is a chemical element. An atom of oxygen has eight protons in its nucleus, so the element has atomic number 8. Its symbol is the capital letter O."
It's good to get the defining characteristic in before the mere convention. Or:
"...Because it has eight protons in its nucleus, its atomic number is 8. O is the symbol for oxygen." Or:
"Oxygen is the chemical element with eight protons in each atom..." GrounderUK (talk) 01:35, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

@GrounderUK: Well, since the link to atomic number adequately explains this concept, I don't see it being necessary to make a full explanation of what an atomic number is in the lead. IWI (chat) 14:41, 16 June 2020 (UTC)

@ImprovedWikiImprovment: No, it's not necessary. The first sentence is exactly what en.wiki says, and that is a "featured article". However, the facts of nature are that oxygen is (a) an element with (b) eight protons in its atoms. The facts of chemical nomenclature are that the element has symbol O and atomic number (Z) of 8 (as stated in the inbox). I like defining characteristics to come before conventions. That's why I would (later) start talking about isotopes in terms of the number of neutrons in the nuclides, rather than the isotopes' mass numbers (to which the article currently refers only obliquely).
On a somewhat unrelated point, I started looking at pages using the word "oxygen". I changed a couple to clarify that they meant O2, but then I thought it would be handy if I could use a link. So far, I have five options.
  1. Normally I'd create a redirect page for such a purpose, but I'm not sure what such a page should be called (other than the IUPAC systematic name "dioxygen").
  2. Another option is a soft redirect via allotropes of oxygen, which I'm not so keen on (because it's too much "chemistry", when "oxygen (O2)" is more "biology", "ecology" or "medicine").
  3. A specific O2 anchor on the oxygen page: a section heading to be agreed.
  4. A simple link to the oxygen page: oxygen (O2) or oxygen (O2).
  5. Generally, we could link to oxygen gas or liquid oxygen, as appropriate (a variant of 1, I suppose).
It looks like there are over 800 pages that might be affected (although they won't all be), so it would be good to have consensus around this before we move it forward. --GrounderUK (talk) 17:03, 16 June 2020 (UTC)

Edit WarEdit

@Legerrich: You've reverted my revert. This is not something you should do. If you disagree with someone's revert, talk about it. I don't think this is needed here as it is spoken about later in the lead. IWI (chat) 05:20, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

Hi IWI. As a counter point, you don’t own this article and the opinion of one person doesn’t make an consensus. Its important to be in the lede because its what oxygen is best known for. Greeseefeesees aka Legerrich (talk) 05:30, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

@Legerrich:I know I don't own the article; nobody owns articles on Wikipedia. My point is, it is already mentioned later in the lead section. IWI (chat) 05:32, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
I will move that part to the beginning then. I’m glad we were able to resolve the conflict. Greeseefeesees aka Legerrich (talk) 05:34, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
Not quite how it works. I don't think this belongs at the beginning. Other editors will take part in this discussion. IWI (chat) 05:36, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
I don't think that statement belongs in the introductory paragraph, either. The article is first and foremost about elemental oxygen, so priority should be given to describing oxygen as an element. The part about breathing oxygen is already mentioned in the "Uses" section. Chenzw  Talk  05:44, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Chenzw as well, this article is first and foremost about the element. The part about breathing is better captured elsewhere. -Djsasso (talk) 13:18, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
While I think it would be all right to mention breathing molecular oxygen somewhere in the lead, "Oxygen is a chemical element that people breathe in order to live" can be misinterpreted too easily. That sentence is about the element, not the molecule. If we breathed in elemental oxygen, we'd probably not live. Maybe "This gas is usually known as just oxygen" could be followed with "and this is the form that humans and other animals breathe" if anyone feels that strongly about it. Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:41, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
I think the way Macdonald-ross has ordered it is good. Is there consensus to keep this order? IWI (chat) 14:13, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
Yeah how he re-ordered it is good. -Djsasso (talk) 14:24, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
Return to "Oxygen" page.