RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Oxygen molecules, computer artwork. Molecular models of an oxygen molecule (O2). Two oxygen atoms (red) are joined together. Each molecule is surrounded by van der Waals radii (black). Oxygen is a colourless, odourless gas and is part of the chalcogen group. It makes up one fifth of the Earth's atmosphere. Oxygen is extremely reactive, forming oxides of most elements. It is essential for respiration of all plants and animals and for most types of combustion.
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