Just like Carbon, Nitrogen is another substance that is vital for life on planet Earth. Yes, no Nitrogen means no life. It is as simple as that. So, now you should have a faint idea of why Nitrogen is one of the most important elements in world. In this article on Nitrogen facts, we will learn a lot of things. May be you are already familiar with them so, consider this as a refresher course.
But before we start with our list of facts about Nitrogen, let us learn a few basic things about the element in a tabular format. You will definitely need this for your homework or project.
|Element Family||Group 15|
|Melting Point||63.05 Kelvin or -210.1°C|
|Boiling Point||77.4 Kelvin or -195.8°C|
|Density at 20°C||0.0012506 g/cm3|
|Number of Electrons||7|
|Number of Protons||7|
|Number of Neutrons (as found in most abundant isotope)||7|
|Electronic Configuration||1s2 2s2 2p3|
|Know Isotopes||12 Isotopes in total with 14N and 15N occurring naturally and are stable. [see the next table below]|
|Element Structure||Hexagonal close-packed|
|Atomic Radius||65 pm|
|Hardness||It is gaseous element and hence, hardness doesn’t count.|
The Isotopes of Nitrogen are:
|Isotopes||Natural or Synthetic||Half life|
|12N||Synthetic||A few milliseconds|
|14N||Natural and stable||—|
|15N||Natural and stable||—|
|16N||Synthetic||A few seconds|
|17N||Synthetic||A few seconds|
|18N||Synthetic||A few milliseconds|
|19N||Synthetic||A few milliseconds|
|20N||Synthetic||A few milliseconds|
|21N||Synthetic||A few milliseconds|
|22N||Synthetic||A few milliseconds|
|23N||Synthetic||A few milliseconds|
Okay, now that we are done with the basic data on Nitrogen, it is time to start with the Nitrogen facts that you have been waiting for.
Nitrogen Facts: 1-5 | Discovery and Naming
1. Nitrogen discovery has a very interesting history. John Mayow – an English physician first first demonstrated that air is made up of different components. He proved this in 1674 by showing that only a part of the air is combustible. The remaining is not.
3. Then came Daniel Rutherford – a doctoral student of Joseph Black. He simply carried out Black’s work in further details. Through a series of experiments, he managed to remove the Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide from air completely. He noticed that the leftover gas was not only NOT capable of combustion but was also unable to support life. He didn’t know what he had discovered and called it as ‘Noxious Gas’. His work was then published and he is credited for the discovery of Nitrogen.
4. In 1790, Jean-Antoine-Claude Chaptal -a French Chemist – came up with the with the name ‘Nitrogen’ because by then, it was already known that Nitrogen was present in nitrates and nitric acid. The name ‘Nitrogen’ was derived from two Greek words – nitron and genes. Nitron literally means ‘Niter’ and Genes means ‘forming’.
5. Later came Antoine Lavoisier, who was also a French Chemist. He came up with a different name called ‘Azote’ a Greek word for the meaning ‘asphyxiation’. The name Azote is currently used in many languages like Turkish, Russia and French. Even in English, the name is used for many compounds of Nitrogen like azo compounds, azides, hydrazine etc.
Nitrogen Facts: 6-10 | Some Amazing Facts About Nitrogen
6. Scientists believe that Nitrogen is 7th most abundant element in this whole universe.
8. In room temperature, Nitrogen remains as a gas. It is completely colorless and odorless. It is considered to be an inert gas.
10. NASA says that Nitrogen plays a very vital role in Aurora formation that is observed in Antarctic and Arctic regions. Auroras are made when high-speed electrons from outer space come and collide with Nitrogen and Oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere.