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Former good article nominee Nitrogen was a Natural sciences good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
August 7, 2011 Good article nominee Not listed
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Article changed over to new Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements format by David M, and Malcolm Farmer. Elementbox converted 12:08, 23 Jun 2005 by Femto (previous revision was that of 02:15, 18 Jun 2005).

Information Sources[edit]

Some of the text in this entry was rewritten from Los Alamos National Laboratory - Nitrogen. Additional text was taken directly from USGS Nitrogen Statistics and Information,USGS Periodic Table - Nitrogen, from the Elements database 20001107 (via, Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (via and WordNet (r) 1.7 (via Data for the table was obtained from the sources listed on the main page and Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements but was reformatted and converted into SI units.

Cryogenic History[edit]

It is worh mentioning that Nitrogen was first liquified in 1883 by Wrobleski and Olzewski. (Taken from "Cryogenic Technology" edited by Robert W. Vance, published by John Wiley & sons inc. 1963)



  • By whom and when was nitre discovered and used?
  • Was urea part of the history of nitrogen?

Discovery of nitrogen looks OK

  • What was later done with the newly discovered nitrogen
  • The Linde process and the large scale production of pure nitrogen by distillation.
  • The discovery that nitrogen is lacking in the soils and that fertilizers should contain nitrogen compounds
  • Nitrogen fixation of plants and the fixation by the Haber Bosch process is a important part

--Stone (talk) 09:56, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

good comments. (talk) 03:15, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! --Stone (talk) 09:01, 13 October 2013 (UTC)


Scheele discovered nitrogen in the same year as Rutherford.

making it better[edit]

I've read the article. Don't really know it yet, haven't read all the linked articles. Haven't read much outside.

I can't believe there was so much tire nitrogen chatter on this page. I'm an inclusionist, but that just Even if it's done and even if effective, seems pretty minor. Unless we find it has large economic magnitude, would cut that.

Also monster drinks (ref 40) is going bye bye.

Next step after that is I will read Greenwood. Then Shriver. Then Cotton (basic and advanced).

At some point, I need to copyedit it (the process forces me to read closer).

Org seems decent, better than Chlorine. But I may want to make it closer to the standard WikiProject Elements sections.

Also, need to think about illustration. (talk) 04:37, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Agree. That stuff about tires and drinks was done by people who think of nitrogen as gas, and the gas as the pure stuff. Of course, all that's very minor. Pure nitrogen gas is used mainly to keep oxygen out. Nitrogen compounds are used in fertilizers, war chemicals, and of course very widely in biology and medicine. Nitrogen is one of those things that is everywhere dispite being quite uncommon in the Earth's crust and quite hard to get out of the atmosphere. SBHarris 05:21, 13 October 2013 (UTC)


Any thoughts on the layout? I sort of like the idea of non-chemical text at the start, but then I also wonder if we should hew closer to the Project Elements style (or Fluorine layout) and have a section on properties at the front. The eutrophication could be handled in an environmental section also. Not trying to push any standardization, just opening discussion... (talk) 15:48, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Fluorine does it by starting with physical characteristics, then universe origin/abundance/ocurrance, then human history/etymology. Almost any of these three could be used as a first topic after the lede (which of course has to have everything).

If you start "at the beginning" does that mean literally in chronology, and is that the beginning in time, or the beginning in terms of human history? Or does "the beginning" of "what there is to know" about an element, connected with what the stuff looks and feels like at standard temperature and pressure? And is that true even if few people ever encounter it that way? How many people have seen fluorine in pure state, vs. say, gold or copper.

I've only resisted trying to have a universal template for all the elements, since it seems to me that the usual dictim to present the reader knowledge he/she is most likely to want to know FIRST, probably varies from element to element. For some elements we know what they look like and are used for (gold, for example) and are looking for other information. For others elements like gallium or neodymium, even these basics may be mysterious to the average person and so should be discussed earlier. Likewise, some elements have been known so long (even as native elements) that they have wooly histories and etymolgies that have been lost in time. Think of carbon, iron, and sulfur. Others are so new that we know exactly who discovered and named them. Some elements have universe origin and abundance that stands out as one of their most noticiable subtopics (hydrogen, helium, and perhaps neon). One can also argue that you want to know the physical properties of each element (in the pure form) first of all-- but is that really true? Some elements are almost never seen in their pure form or rarely used that way (bromine and fluorine, and some rare earths), so this stuff can wait. Also, there are elements for which discussion of properties of the pure element segues more naturally AFTER the discovery section. Oddly, I think fluorine is one of these, but the authors there have decided to put its properties (which are rather esoteric and not economically nearly as important) up front, there. Some things are not worth arguing.

For all the elements I've tried to keep their biological connection at the end (end of the lede, end of the article), just because life is very complicated and it seems to work better if we save it for last, after we have reviewed as much as possible about the element in every other context. Of course this section is much longer for some elements like C,H,N,O,Ca,P, than it is for the next two dozen elements that are perhaps actively used in some organisms, and finally to the thers that are either active toxins or just bystanders (most but not all inert gases-- xenon is an anesthetic as are also Ar and Kr at pressure!). Anyway, if all this stuff looks nonuniform, it's not because we haven't thought about it. It's rather that the answer is not the same for hydrogen and helium as for silver and gold (say). Or terbium and plutonium.

In any case, I'm open to fixes with nitrogen. Try one way, then another. It seems to me that the history of nitrogen use breaks naturally at the 20th century when scientists learned to artificially fix it, and it became the major player in war and peace that we know it as, today. But all of that is history of nitrogen compounds. Nitrogen as an element is almost an inert gas until it happens to contact lightening, nitrogenases, or human nitrogen fixation technology (which again is only about a century old). So it has a double role that can resist fluid transitions in writing. SBHarris 19:38, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

1. I am strongly in agreement at resisting a universal template for your same reasons.

2. Talk to me a little more about fluorine. What would be your preferred order then? Give me the whole rundown. I looove the idea of having more engaging text to keep the English majors in the game. would you go:

  • history
  • occurrence
  • characteristics
  • compounds
  • industry
  • bio
  • hazards
  • enviro


3. Thanks. On Nitrogen, I really want to do what you said (try different structures). It's how I learn and engage. Just was trying to avoid version control struggles or the like (is easier to play with something when writing on your own). (talk) 21:00, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

fluorine org[edit]

How about occurrence/history/characteristics as an order? After all the properties of the savage beast were not well known until after Moissan isolated it, so why not have it right after? (I will have to work on layout as well, the pics versus the infobox and all that.) (talk) 21:25, 13 October 2013 (UTC)