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Nitrogen Cycle is like the wheel of a Motorcycle!

GOAL: Meet Nitrogen (N).  Understanding Nitrogen as part of organic (Nitrogen Cycle) and inorganic (fertilizers) compounds.

Mary and Henry stopped in Tom-the-Atom’s neighborhood, in the heart of Atomic city.  Tom-the-Atom calls for one of his sisters: Nitrogen.  She is in the Periodic Table in Column 15 or Group 5A; i.e., she has 5 Valence electrons in her outermost shell/subshell. She is in the 2nd row (or Period), to the right of Tom-the-Atom and to the left of Oxygen.  Accordingly, Nitrogen has 2 shells.  Nitrogen is in the same column as Phosphorus, just one row above.  Nitrogen belongs to the essential family of the Non-Metal—a small family with only 7 siblings.  However, 5 out of those seven siblings are among the most important actors and are responsible for life (Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Phosphorous (CHONP))!

Nitrogen is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas.  It forms a diatomic molecule, i.e., it comes in pairs of two Atoms, which means two nitrogen atoms per molecule of gas (N2).  Although we often refer to the air, we breathe as “Oxygen,” our air’s most common element is Nitrogen.  The Earth’s atmosphere is 78% nitrogen gas or N2.  Nitrogen can also be found in all living organisms on Earth, including people, plants, and animals.  It plays an essential role in proteins and nucleic acids.


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