What type of element is oxygen ? explain why

1 Answer
Jun 12, 2018

It is a non-metal normally in a vapor state. It is normally an oxidizing agent.


All elemental chemical properties are determined by the valence electrons of an atom. For oxygen with an unfilled p-orbital it means that it will tend to attract or capture electrons from other elements, "oxidizing" them.

Its weak inter-molecular forces mean that it will not form larger (massive) clumps of oxygen, and the resulting diatomic form is too light to condense at normal atmospheric conditions. The same is true for nitrogen, fluorine and neon in the same row.

However, while the elements Li, Be, B and C all have lower atomic weights, they also have stronger inter-molecular forces that allow the formation of solid states at normal temperatures and pressures.

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