[Gk. oxus, acid; and gennein, to make.] A gas without color, taste, or smell, forming that part of the air which supports life and flame. It is also the principal component part of water. Oxygen readily combines with almost every other element. Not only does it form about one-fifth of the atmosphere, but it is also found in a great number of solid and liquid compounds. It has been estimated that this element alone forms about one-half by weight of the crust of the earth, being thus the most abundant of all the elements. When we see any sub-stance burning, we may be certain that what we call oxidation is going on - that is, that the matter of the coal, or the candle, or the gas, or whatever it may be, is combining with the oxygen of the air, and in the act of doing so is producing heat and light.
METAL BURNING IN OXYGEN.