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Argon vs. Oxygen: Know the Difference

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By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Argon is an inert, colorless, odorless noble gas, often used in lighting and welding; Oxygen is a reactive, life-supporting element, crucial for respiration and combustion.
Argon vs. Oxygen

Key Differences

Argon is a noble gas, chemically inert due to its complete valence electron shell, making it stable and non-reactive. In contrast, Oxygen is highly reactive, essential for life processes like respiration and energy production.
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In the periodic table, Argon is located in Group 18, known for its noble gases, characterized by their lack of chemical reactivity. Oxygen, however, is in Group 16, known for its reactivity and ability to form compounds with almost all other elements.
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Argon's primary use is in inert environments needed for welding and in incandescent light bulbs to protect the filament. Oxygen's uses are more varied, including in medical applications, metal cutting, and as an essential element for life on Earth.
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Argon makes up about 0.93% of Earth's atmosphere, which is significant for an inert gas. Oxygen, however, is far more abundant, composing about 21% of the Earth's atmosphere, and is vital for most forms of life.
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Comparison Chart

Atomic Number

18
8
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Chemical Reactivity

Inert, non-reactive
Highly reactive
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Group in Periodic Table

Noble gases (Group 18)
Chalcogens (Group 16)
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Natural Occurrence

0.93% of Earth's atmosphere
21% of Earth's atmosphere
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Main Uses

Inert environments, lighting
Respiration, combustion, metal cutting
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Argon and Oxygen Definitions

Argon

Argon is a noble gas, used in fluorescent lights
The argon gas in these tubes helps create a bright light.
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Oxygen

Oxygen is used medically to treat respiratory issues
Patients with breathing problems often receive supplemental oxygen.
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Argon

Argon is inert and non-reactive
Argon is preferred in welding because it doesn't react with metals.
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Oxygen

Oxygen is a vital element for respiration
Without oxygen, humans cannot breathe.
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Argon

Argon is used in double-pane windows for insulation
These windows are filled with argon to improve thermal efficiency.
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Oxygen

Oxygen is a part of water (H2O)
Oxygen combines with hydrogen to form water.
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Argon

Argon is a colorless, odorless gas
The lab filled with argon remained devoid of any smell or color.
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Oxygen

Oxygen is the most abundant element in the Earth's crust
Oxygen forms a significant part of the earth's surface.
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Argon

Argon constitutes about 0.93% of the Earth's atmosphere
Despite being inert, argon is quite abundant in our air.
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Oxygen

A nonmetallic element constituting 21 percent of the atmosphere by volume that occurs as a diatomic gas, O2, and in many compounds such as water and silica, and in iron ore. It combines with most elements, is essential for plant and animal respiration, and is required for nearly all combustion. Ozone, O3, is an allotrope of this element. Atomic number 8; atomic weight 15.9994; melting point -218.79°C; boiling point -182.9°C; gas density at 0°C 1.429 grams per liter; valence 2. See Periodic Table.
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Argon

A colorless, odorless, inert gaseous element constituting approximately one percent of the earth's atmosphere, from which it is commercially obtained by fractionation for use in electric light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, and radio vacuum tubes and as an inert gas shield in arc welding. Atomic number 18; atomic weight 39.948; melting point -189.36°C; boiling point -185.85°C. See Periodic Table.
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Oxygen

The chemical element (symbol O) with an atomic number of 8 and relative atomic mass of 15.9994. It is a colorless and odorless gas. Category:en:Oxygen
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Argon

The chemical element (symbol Ar) with an atomic number of 18. The third most abundant gas in the Earth's atmosphere, it is a colourless, odourless, inert noble gas.
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Oxygen

Molecular oxygen (O2), a colorless, odorless gas at room temperature, also called dioxygen.
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Argon

(countable) A single atom of this element.
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Oxygen

(medicine) A mixture of oxygen and other gases, administered to a patient to help them breathe.
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Argon

A colorless, odorless gas occurring in the air (of which it constitutes 0.93 per cent by volume), in volcanic gases, etc.; - so named on account of its inertness by Rayleigh and Ramsay, who prepared and examined it in 1894-95. Symbol, A; at. wt., 39.9. Argon is condensible to a colorless liquid boiling at -186.1° C. and to a solid melting at -189.6° C. It has a characteristic spectrum. No compounds of it are known, but there is physical evidence that its molecule is monatomic. Weight of one liter at 0° C. and 760 mm., 1.7828 g.
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Oxygen

(countable) An atom of this element.
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Argon

A colorless and odorless inert gas; one of the six inert gases; comprises approximately 1% of the earth's atmosphere
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Oxygen

(figurative) A condition or environment in which something can thrive.
Silence is the oxygen of shame.
They hoped to starve the terrorists of the oxygen of publicity.
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Oxygen

A colorless, tasteless, odorless, gaseous element of atomic number 8, occurring in the free state in the atmosphere, of which it forms about 23 per cent by weight and about 21 per cent by volume, being slightly heavier than nitrogen. Symbol O. Atomic weight 15.9994.
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Oxygen

Chlorine used in bleaching.
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Oxygen

A nonmetallic bivalent element that is normally a colorless odorless tasteless nonflammable diatomic gas; constitutes 21 percent of the atmosphere by volume; the most abundant element in the earth's crust
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Oxygen

Oxygen supports combustion
A fire needs oxygen to keep burning.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is Argon?

A noble, inert gas in the Earth's atmosphere.
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Where is Argon found?

Mostly in the Earth's atmosphere.
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What is Oxygen?

A reactive gas, essential for respiration and combustion.
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Can Oxygen support life?

Yes, it's essential for respiration.
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Where is Oxygen found?

In the air, water, and living organisms.
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How is Argon obtained?

By fractional distillation of liquid air.
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Is Argon used in medicine?

Rarely, except in some types of laser treatments.
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What are the industrial uses of Argon?

Welding, lighting, and manufacturing.
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Why is Argon inert?

Due to its full valence electron shell.
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What are the industrial uses of Oxygen?

Metal cutting, welding, and chemical production.
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Can Argon support life?

No, it's inert and doesn't participate in biological processes.
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Is Argon heavier than air?

Yes, it's denser than air.
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What is the atomic symbol of Oxygen?

O.
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Why is Oxygen reactive?

It has a high electronegativity and a valence of 2.
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Does Argon react with water?

No, it's chemically inert.
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Is Oxygen used in medicine?

Yes, for respiratory therapy and life support.
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Does Oxygen react with water?

It's part of water and can form oxides with other elements.
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How is Oxygen obtained?

By air separation or chemical reactions.
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Is Oxygen heavier than air?

No, it's lighter than many gases but denser than hydrogen and helium.
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What is the atomic symbol of Argon?

Ar.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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