A growth medium or culture medium is a solid, liquid or semi-solid designed to support the growth of microorganisms or cells, or small plants like the moss Physcomitrella patens. Different types of media are used for growing different types of cells; the two major types of growth media are those used for cell culture, which use specific cell types derived from plants or animals, microbiological culture, which are used for growing microorganisms, such as bacteria or fungi. The most common growth media for microorganisms are nutrient broths and agar plates; some organisms, termed fastidious organisms, require specialized environments due to complex nutritional requirements. Viruses, for example, are obligate intracellular parasites and require a growth medium containing living cells; the most common growth media for microorganisms are LB medium. Liquid media are mixed with agar and poured via a sterile media dispenser into Petri dishes to solidify; these agar plates provide a solid medium. They remain solid, as few bacteria are able to decompose agar.
Bacteria grown in liquid cultures form colloidal suspensions. The difference between growth media used for cell culture and those used for microbiological culture is that cells derived from whole organisms and grown in culture cannot grow without the addition of, for instance, hormones or growth factors which occur in vivo. In the case of animal cells, this difficulty is addressed by the addition of blood serum or a synthetic serum replacement to the medium. In the case of microorganisms, no such limitations exist, as they are unicellular organisms. One other major difference is that animal cells in culture are grown on a flat surface to which they attach, the medium is provided in a liquid form, which covers the cells. In contrast, bacteria such as Escherichia coli may be grown in liquid media. An important distinction between growth media types is that of defined versus undefined media. A defined medium will have known quantities of all ingredients. For microorganisms, they consist of providing trace elements and vitamins required by the microbe and defined carbon and nitrogen sources.
Glucose or glycerol are used as carbon sources, ammonium salts or nitrates as inorganic nitrogen sources. An undefined medium has some complex ingredients, such as yeast extract or casein hydrolysate, which consist of a mixture of many chemical species in unknown proportions. Undefined media are sometimes chosen based on price and sometimes by necessity – some microorganisms have never been cultured on defined media. A good example of a growth medium is the wort used to make beer; the wort contains all the nutrients required for yeast growth, under anaerobic conditions, alcohol is produced. When the fermentation process is complete, the combination of medium and dormant microbes, now beer, is ready for consumption; the main types are Cultural media Minimal media Selective media Differential media Transport media Indicator media Culture media contain all the elements that most bacteria need for growth and are not selective, so they are used for the general cultivation and maintenance of bacteria kept in laboratory culture collections.
An undefined medium contains: a carbon source such as glucose water various salts a source of amino acids and nitrogen This is an undefined medium because the amino-acid source contains a variety of compounds with the exact composition being unknown. A defined medium is a medium in which all the chemicals used are known no yeast, animal, or plant tissue is presentSome examples of nutrient media include: Plate count agar Nutrient agar Trypticase soy agar Minimal media are those that contain the minimum nutrients possible for colony growth without the presence of amino acids, are used by microbiologists and geneticists to grow "wild-type" microorganisms. Minimal media can be used to select for or against recombinants or exconjugants. Minimal medium contains: a carbon source, which may be a sugar such as glucose, or a less energy-rich source such as succinate various salts, which may vary among bacteria species and growing conditions; this supplementation allows for the culturing of specific lines of auxotrophic recombinants.
Selective media are used for the growth of only selected microorganisms. For example, if a microorganism is resistant to a certain antibiotic, such as ampicillin or tetracycline that antibiotic can be added to the medium to prevent other cells, which do not possess the resistance, from growing. Media lacking an amino acid such as proline in conjunction with E. coli unable to synthesize it were used by geneticists before the emergence of genomics to map bacterial chromosomes. Selective growth media are used in cell culture to ensure the survival or proliferation of cells with certain properties, such as antibiotic resistance or the ability to synthesize a certain metabolite; the presence of a specific gene or an allele of a gene confers upon the cell the ability to grow in the selective medium. In such cases, the gene is termed a marker. Selective
Hydrogen is a chemical element with symbol H and atomic number 1. With a standard atomic weight of 1.008, hydrogen is the lightest element in the periodic table. Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical substance in the Universe, constituting 75% of all baryonic mass. Non-remnant stars are composed of hydrogen in the plasma state; the most common isotope of hydrogen, termed protium, has no neutrons. The universal emergence of atomic hydrogen first occurred during the recombination epoch. At standard temperature and pressure, hydrogen is a colorless, tasteless, non-toxic, nonmetallic combustible diatomic gas with the molecular formula H2. Since hydrogen forms covalent compounds with most nonmetallic elements, most of the hydrogen on Earth exists in molecular forms such as water or organic compounds. Hydrogen plays a important role in acid–base reactions because most acid-base reactions involve the exchange of protons between soluble molecules. In ionic compounds, hydrogen can take the form of a negative charge when it is known as a hydride, or as a positively charged species denoted by the symbol H+.
The hydrogen cation is written as though composed of a bare proton, but in reality, hydrogen cations in ionic compounds are always more complex. As the only neutral atom for which the Schrödinger equation can be solved analytically, study of the energetics and bonding of the hydrogen atom has played a key role in the development of quantum mechanics. Hydrogen gas was first artificially produced in the early 16th century by the reaction of acids on metals. In 1766–81, Henry Cavendish was the first to recognize that hydrogen gas was a discrete substance, that it produces water when burned, the property for which it was named: in Greek, hydrogen means "water-former". Industrial production is from steam reforming natural gas, less from more energy-intensive methods such as the electrolysis of water. Most hydrogen is used near the site of its production, the two largest uses being fossil fuel processing and ammonia production for the fertilizer market. Hydrogen is a concern in metallurgy as it can embrittle many metals, complicating the design of pipelines and storage tanks.
Hydrogen gas is flammable and will burn in air at a wide range of concentrations between 4% and 75% by volume. The enthalpy of combustion is −286 kJ/mol: 2 H2 + O2 → 2 H2O + 572 kJ Hydrogen gas forms explosive mixtures with air in concentrations from 4–74% and with chlorine at 5–95%; the explosive reactions may be triggered by heat, or sunlight. The hydrogen autoignition temperature, the temperature of spontaneous ignition in air, is 500 °C. Pure hydrogen-oxygen flames emit ultraviolet light and with high oxygen mix are nearly invisible to the naked eye, as illustrated by the faint plume of the Space Shuttle Main Engine, compared to the visible plume of a Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster, which uses an ammonium perchlorate composite; the detection of a burning hydrogen leak may require a flame detector. Hydrogen flames in other conditions are blue; the destruction of the Hindenburg airship was a notorious example of hydrogen combustion and the cause is still debated. The visible orange flames in that incident were the result of a rich mixture of hydrogen to oxygen combined with carbon compounds from the airship skin.
H2 reacts with every oxidizing element. Hydrogen can react spontaneously and violently at room temperature with chlorine and fluorine to form the corresponding hydrogen halides, hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride, which are potentially dangerous acids; the ground state energy level of the electron in a hydrogen atom is −13.6 eV, equivalent to an ultraviolet photon of 91 nm wavelength. The energy levels of hydrogen can be calculated accurately using the Bohr model of the atom, which conceptualizes the electron as "orbiting" the proton in analogy to the Earth's orbit of the Sun. However, the atomic electron and proton are held together by electromagnetic force, while planets and celestial objects are held by gravity; because of the discretization of angular momentum postulated in early quantum mechanics by Bohr, the electron in the Bohr model can only occupy certain allowed distances from the proton, therefore only certain allowed energies. A more accurate description of the hydrogen atom comes from a purely quantum mechanical treatment that uses the Schrödinger equation, Dirac equation or the Feynman path integral formulation to calculate the probability density of the electron around the proton.
The most complicated treatments allow for the small effects of special relativity and vacuum polarization. In the quantum mechanical treatment, the electron in a ground state hydrogen atom has no angular momentum at all—illustrating how the "planetary orbit" differs from electron motion. There exist two different spin isomers of hydrogen diatomic molecules that differ by the relative spin of their nuclei. In the orthohydrogen form, the spins of the two protons are parallel and form a triplet state with a molecular spin quantum number of 1. At standard temperature and pressure, hydrogen gas contains about 25% of the para form and 75% of the ortho form known as the "normal form"; the equilibrium ratio of orthohydrogen to parahydrogen depends on temperature, but because the ortho form is an excited state and has a higher energy
Potassium is a chemical element with symbol K and atomic number 19. It was first isolated from the ashes of plants, from which its name derives. In the periodic table, potassium is one of the alkali metals. All of the alkali metals have a single valence electron in the outer electron shell, removed to create an ion with a positive charge – a cation, which combines with anions to form salts. Potassium in nature occurs only in ionic salts. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes in air and reacts vigorously with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite hydrogen emitted in the reaction, burning with a lilac-colored flame, it is found dissolved in sea water, is part of many minerals. Potassium is chemically similar to sodium, the previous element in group 1 of the periodic table, they have a similar first ionization energy, which allows for each atom to give up its sole outer electron. That they are different elements that combine with the same anions to make similar salts was suspected in 1702, was proven in 1807 using electrolysis.
Occurring potassium is composed of three isotopes, of which 40K is radioactive. Traces of 40K are found in all potassium, it is the most common radioisotope in the human body. Potassium ions are vital for the functioning of all living cells; the transfer of potassium ions across nerve cell membranes is necessary for normal nerve transmission. Fresh fruits and vegetables are good dietary sources of potassium; the body responds to the influx of dietary potassium, which raises serum potassium levels, with a shift of potassium from outside to inside cells and an increase in potassium excretion by the kidneys. Most industrial applications of potassium exploit the high solubility in water of potassium compounds, such as potassium soaps. Heavy crop production depletes the soil of potassium, this can be remedied with agricultural fertilizers containing potassium, accounting for 95% of global potassium chemical production; the English name for the element potassium comes from the word "potash", which refers to an early method of extracting various potassium salts: placing in a pot the ash of burnt wood or tree leaves, adding water and evaporating the solution.
When Humphry Davy first isolated the pure element using electrolysis in 1807, he named it potassium, which he derived from the word potash. The symbol "K" stems from kali, itself from the root word alkali, which in turn comes from Arabic: القَلْيَه al-qalyah "plant ashes". In 1797, the German chemist Martin Klaproth discovered "potash" in the minerals leucite and lepidolite, realized that "potash" was not a product of plant growth but contained a new element, which he proposed to call kali. In 1807, Humphry Davy produced the element via electrolysis: in 1809, Ludwig Wilhelm Gilbert proposed the name Kalium for Davy's "potassium". In 1814, the Swedish chemist Berzelius advocated the name kalium for potassium, with the chemical symbol "K"; the English and French speaking countries adopted Davy and Gay-Lussac/Thénard's name Potassium, while the Germanic countries adopted Gilbert/Klaproth's name Kalium. The "Gold Book" of the International Union of Physical and Applied Chemistry has designated the official chemical symbol as K.
Potassium is the second least dense metal after lithium. It is a soft solid with a low melting point, can be cut with a knife. Freshly cut potassium is silvery in appearance, but it begins to tarnish toward gray on exposure to air. In a flame test and its compounds emit a lilac color with a peak emission wavelength of 766.5 nanometers. Neutral potassium atoms have 19 electrons, one more than the stable configuration of the noble gas argon; because of this and its low first ionization energy of 418.8 kJ/mol, the potassium atom is much more to lose the last electron and acquire a positive charge than to gain one and acquire a negative charge. This process requires so little energy that potassium is oxidized by atmospheric oxygen. In contrast, the second ionization energy is high, because removal of two electrons breaks the stable noble gas electronic configuration. Potassium therefore does not form compounds with the oxidation state of higher. Potassium is an active metal that reacts violently with oxygen in water and air.
With oxygen it forms potassium peroxide, with water potassium forms potassium hydroxide. The reaction of potassium with water is dangerous because of its violent exothermic character and the production of hydrogen gas. Hydrogen reacts again with atmospheric oxygen, producing water, which reacts with the remaining potassium; this reaction requires only traces of water. Because of the sensitivity of potassium to water and air, reactions with other elements are possible only in an inert atmosphere such as argon gas using air-free techniques. Potassium does not react with most hydrocarbons such as mineral kerosene, it dissolves in liquid ammonia, up to 480 g per 1000 g of ammonia at 0 °C. Depending on the concentration, the ammonia solutions are blue to yellow, their electrical conductivity is similar to that of liquid metals. In a pure solution, potassium reacts with ammonia to form KNH2, but this reaction is accelerated by minute amounts of transition metal s
Metabolism is the set of life-sustaining chemical reactions in organisms. The three main purposes of metabolism are: the conversion of food to energy to run cellular processes; these enzyme-catalyzed reactions allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, respond to their environments.. Metabolic reactions may be categorized as catabolic - the breaking down of compounds. Catabolism releases energy, anabolism consumes energy; the chemical reactions of metabolism are organized into metabolic pathways, in which one chemical is transformed through a series of steps into another chemical, each step being facilitated by a specific enzyme. Enzymes are crucial to metabolism because they allow organisms to drive desirable reactions that require energy that will not occur by themselves, by coupling them to spontaneous reactions that release energy. Enzymes act as catalysts - they allow a reaction to proceed more - and they allow the regulation of the rate of a metabolic reaction, for example in response to changes in the cell's environment or to signals from other cells.
The metabolic system of a particular organism determines which substances it will find nutritious and which poisonous. For example, some prokaryotes use hydrogen sulfide as a nutrient, yet this gas is poisonous to animals; the basal metabolic rate of an organism is the measure of the amount of energy consumed by all of these chemical reactions. A striking feature of metabolism is the similarity of the basic metabolic pathways among vastly different species. For example, the set of carboxylic acids that are best known as the intermediates in the citric acid cycle are present in all known organisms, being found in species as diverse as the unicellular bacterium Escherichia coli and huge multicellular organisms like elephants; these similarities in metabolic pathways are due to their early appearance in evolutionary history, their retention because of their efficacy. Most of the structures that make up animals and microbes are made from three basic classes of molecule: amino acids and lipids; as these molecules are vital for life, metabolic reactions either focus on making these molecules during the construction of cells and tissues, or by breaking them down and using them as a source of energy, by their digestion.
These biochemicals can be joined together to make polymers such as DNA and proteins, essential macromolecules of life. Proteins are made of amino acids arranged in a linear chain joined together by peptide bonds. Many proteins are enzymes. Other proteins have structural or mechanical functions, such as those that form the cytoskeleton, a system of scaffolding that maintains the cell shape. Proteins are important in cell signaling, immune responses, cell adhesion, active transport across membranes, the cell cycle. Amino acids contribute to cellular energy metabolism by providing a carbon source for entry into the citric acid cycle when a primary source of energy, such as glucose, is scarce, or when cells undergo metabolic stress. Lipids are the most diverse group of biochemicals, their main structural uses are as part of biological membranes both internal and external, such as the cell membrane, or as a source of energy. Lipids are defined as hydrophobic or amphipathic biological molecules but will dissolve in organic solvents such as benzene or chloroform.
The fats are a large group of compounds that contain fatty glycerol. Several variations on this basic structure exist, including alternate backbones such as sphingosine in the sphingolipids, hydrophilic groups such as phosphate as in phospholipids. Steroids such as cholesterol are another major class of lipids. Carbohydrates are aldehydes or ketones, with many hydroxyl groups attached, that can exist as straight chains or rings. Carbohydrates are the most abundant biological molecules, fill numerous roles, such as the storage and transport of energy and structural components; the basic carbohydrate units are called monosaccharides and include galactose and most glucose. Monosaccharides can be linked together to form polysaccharides in limitless ways; the two nucleic acids, DNA and RNA, are polymers of nucleotides. Each nucleotide is composed of a phosphate attached to a ribose or deoxyribose sugar group, attached to a nitrogenous base. Nucleic acids are critical for the storage and use of genetic information, its interpretation through the processes of transcription and protein biosynthesis.
This information is propagated through DNA replication. Many viruses have an RNA genome, such as HIV, which uses reverse transcription to create a DNA template from its viral RNA genome. RNA in ribozymes such as spliceosomes and ribosomes is similar to enzymes as it can catalyze chemical reactions. Individual nucleosides are made
Carbon is a chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds, it belongs to group 14 of the periodic table. Three isotopes occur 12C and 13C being stable, while 14C is a radionuclide, decaying with a half-life of about 5,730 years. Carbon is one of the few elements known since antiquity. Carbon is the 15th most abundant element in the Earth's crust, the fourth most abundant element in the universe by mass after hydrogen and oxygen. Carbon's abundance, its unique diversity of organic compounds, its unusual ability to form polymers at the temperatures encountered on Earth enables this element to serve as a common element of all known life, it is the second most abundant element in the human body by mass after oxygen. The atoms of carbon can bond together in different ways, termed allotropes of carbon; the best known are graphite and amorphous carbon. The physical properties of carbon vary with the allotropic form.
For example, graphite is opaque and black while diamond is transparent. Graphite is soft enough to form a streak on paper, while diamond is the hardest occurring material known. Graphite is a good electrical conductor. Under normal conditions, carbon nanotubes, graphene have the highest thermal conductivities of all known materials. All carbon allotropes are solids under normal conditions, with graphite being the most thermodynamically stable form at standard temperature and pressure, they are chemically resistant and require high temperature to react with oxygen. The most common oxidation state of carbon in inorganic compounds is +4, while +2 is found in carbon monoxide and transition metal carbonyl complexes; the largest sources of inorganic carbon are limestones and carbon dioxide, but significant quantities occur in organic deposits of coal, peat and methane clathrates. Carbon forms a vast number of compounds, more than any other element, with ten million compounds described to date, yet that number is but a fraction of the number of theoretically possible compounds under standard conditions.
For this reason, carbon has been referred to as the "king of the elements". The allotropes of carbon include graphite, one of the softest known substances, diamond, the hardest occurring substance, it bonds with other small atoms, including other carbon atoms, is capable of forming multiple stable covalent bonds with suitable multivalent atoms. Carbon is known to form ten million different compounds, a large majority of all chemical compounds. Carbon has the highest sublimation point of all elements. At atmospheric pressure it has no melting point, as its triple point is at 10.8±0.2 MPa and 4,600 ± 300 K, so it sublimes at about 3,900 K. Graphite is much more reactive than diamond at standard conditions, despite being more thermodynamically stable, as its delocalised pi system is much more vulnerable to attack. For example, graphite can be oxidised by hot concentrated nitric acid at standard conditions to mellitic acid, C66, which preserves the hexagonal units of graphite while breaking up the larger structure.
Carbon sublimes in a carbon arc, which has a temperature of about 5800 K. Thus, irrespective of its allotropic form, carbon remains solid at higher temperatures than the highest-melting-point metals such as tungsten or rhenium. Although thermodynamically prone to oxidation, carbon resists oxidation more than elements such as iron and copper, which are weaker reducing agents at room temperature. Carbon is the sixth element, with a ground-state electron configuration of 1s22s22p2, of which the four outer electrons are valence electrons, its first four ionisation energies, 1086.5, 2352.6, 4620.5 and 6222.7 kJ/mol, are much higher than those of the heavier group-14 elements. The electronegativity of carbon is 2.5 higher than the heavier group-14 elements, but close to most of the nearby nonmetals, as well as some of the second- and third-row transition metals. Carbon's covalent radii are taken as 77.2 pm, 66.7 pm and 60.3 pm, although these may vary depending on coordination number and what the carbon is bonded to.
In general, covalent radius decreases with higher bond order. Carbon compounds form the basis of all known life on Earth, the carbon–nitrogen cycle provides some of the energy produced by the Sun and other stars. Although it forms an extraordinary variety of compounds, most forms of carbon are comparatively unreactive under normal conditions. At standard temperature and pressure, it resists all but the strongest oxidizers, it does not react with hydrochloric acid, chlorine or any alkalis. At elevated temperatures, carbon reacts with oxygen to form carbon oxides and will rob oxygen from metal oxides to leave the elemental metal; this exothermic reaction is used in the iron and steel industry to smelt iron and to control the carbon content of steel: Fe3O4 + 4 C → 3 Fe + 4 COCarbon monoxide can be recycled to smelt more iron: Fe3O4 + 4 CO → 3 Fe + 4 CO2with sulfur to form carbon disulfide and with steam in the coal-gas reaction: C + H2O → CO + H2. Carbon combines with some metals at high temperatures to form metallic carbides, such as the iron carbide cementite in steel and tungsten carbide used as an abrasive and for making hard tips for cutting tools.
The system of carbon allotropes spans a range of extremes: Atomic carbon is a ver
Pyridine is a basic heterocyclic organic compound with the chemical formula C5H5N. It is structurally related to benzene, with one methine group replaced by a nitrogen atom, it is a flammable, weakly alkaline, water-soluble liquid with a distinctive, unpleasant fish-like smell. Pyridine is colorless; the pyridine ring occurs in many important compounds, including agrochemicals and vitamins. Pyridine was produced from coal tar. Today it is synthesized on the scale of about 20,000 tonnes per year worldwide; the molecular electric dipole moment is 2.2 debyes. Pyridine is diamagnetic and has a diamagnetic susceptibility of −48.7 × 10−6 cm3·mol−1. The standard enthalpy of formation is 100.2 kJ·mol−1 in the liquid phase and 140.4 kJ·mol−1 in the gas phase. At 25 °C pyridine has a viscosity of 0.88 mPa/s and thermal conductivity of 0.166 W·m−1·K−1. The enthalpy of vaporization is 35.09 kJ · mol − 1 at normal pressure. The enthalpy of fusion is 8.28 kJ·mol−1 at the melting point. The critical parameters of pyridine are pressure 6.70 MPa, temperature 620 K and volume 229 cm3·mol−1.
In the temperature range 340–426 °C its vapor pressure p can be described with the Antoine equation log 10 p = A − B C + T where T is temperature, A = 4.16272, B = 1371.358 K and C = −58.496 K. Akin to benzene, pyridine ring forms a C5N hexagon. Electron localization in pyridine is reflected in the shorter C–N ring bond, whereas the carbon–carbon bonds in the pyridine ring have the same 139 pm length as in benzene; these bond lengths lie between the values for the single and double bonds and are typical of aromatic compounds. Pyridine crystallizes in an orthorhombic crystal system with space group Pna21 and lattice parameters a = 1752 pm, b = 897 pm, c = 1135 pm, 16 formula units per unit cell. For comparison, crystalline benzene is orthorhombic, with space group Pbca, a = 729.2 pm, b = 947.1 pm, c = 674.2 pm, but the number of molecules per cell is only 4. This difference is related to the lower symmetry of the individual pyridine molecule. A trihydrate is known; the optical absorption spectrum of pyridine in hexane contains three bands at the wavelengths of 195 nm, 251 nm and 270 nm.
The 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectrum of pyridine contains three signals with the integral intensity ratio of 2:1:2 that correspond to the three chemically different protons in the molecule. These signals originate from γ-proton and β-protons; the carbon analog of pyridine, has only one proton signal at 7.27 ppm. The larger chemical shifts of the α- and γ-protons in comparison to benzene result from the lower electron density in the α- and γ-positions, which can be derived from the resonance structures; the situation is rather similar for the 13C NMR spectra of pyridine and benzene: pyridine shows a triplet at δ = 150 ppm, δ = 124 ppm and δ = 136 ppm, whereas benzene has a single line at 129 ppm. All shifts are quoted for the solvent-free substances. Pyridine is conventionally detected by mass spectrometry methods; because of the electronegative nitrogen in the pyridine ring, the molecule is electron deficient. It, enters less into electrophilic aromatic substitution reactions than benzene derivatives.
Correspondingly pyridine is more prone to nucleophilic substitution, as evidenced by the ease of metalation by strong organometallic bases. The reactivity of pyridine can be distinguished for three chemical groups. With electrophiles, electrophilic substitution takes place where pyridine expresses aromatic properties. With nucleophiles, pyridine reacts at positions 2 and 4 and thus behaves similar to imines and carbonyls; the reaction with many Lewis acids results in the addition to the nitrogen atom of pyridine, similar to the reactivity of tertiary amines. The ability of pyridine and its derivatives to oxidize, forming amine oxides, is a feature of tertiary amines; the nitrogen center of pyridine features a basic lone pair of electrons. This lone pair does not overlap with the aromatic π-system ring pyridine is a basic, having chemical properties similar to those of tertiary amines. Protonation gives pyridinium, C5H5NH+; the pKa of the conjugate acid is 5.25. The structures of pyridine and pyridinium are identical.
The pyridinium cation is isoelectronic with benzene. Pyridinium p-toluenesulfonate is an illustrative pyridinium salt. In addition to protonation, pyridine undergoes N-centered alkylation, N-oxidation. Pyridine has a conjugated system of six π electrons; the molecule is planar and, follows the Hückel criteria for aromatic systems. In contrast to benzene, the electron density is not evenly distributed over the ring, reflecting the negative inductive effect of the nitrogen atom. For this reason, pyridine has a dipole moment and a weaker resonant stabilization than benzene (re
Nitrogen is a chemical element with symbol N and atomic number 7. It was first discovered and isolated by Scottish physician Daniel Rutherford in 1772. Although Carl Wilhelm Scheele and Henry Cavendish had independently done so at about the same time, Rutherford is accorded the credit because his work was published first; the name nitrogène was suggested by French chemist Jean-Antoine-Claude Chaptal in 1790, when it was found that nitrogen was present in nitric acid and nitrates. Antoine Lavoisier suggested instead the name azote, from the Greek ἀζωτικός "no life", as it is an asphyxiant gas. Nitrogen is the lightest member of group 15 of the periodic table called the pnictogens; the name comes from the Greek πνίγειν "to choke", directly referencing nitrogen's asphyxiating properties. It is a common element in the universe, estimated at about seventh in total abundance in the Milky Way and the Solar System. At standard temperature and pressure, two atoms of the element bind to form dinitrogen, a colourless and odorless diatomic gas with the formula N2.
Dinitrogen forms about 78 % of Earth's atmosphere. Nitrogen occurs in all organisms in amino acids, in the nucleic acids and in the energy transfer molecule adenosine triphosphate; the human body contains about 3% nitrogen by mass, the fourth most abundant element in the body after oxygen and hydrogen. The nitrogen cycle describes movement of the element from the air, into the biosphere and organic compounds back into the atmosphere. Many industrially important compounds, such as ammonia, nitric acid, organic nitrates, cyanides, contain nitrogen; the strong triple bond in elemental nitrogen, the second strongest bond in any diatomic molecule after carbon monoxide, dominates nitrogen chemistry. This causes difficulty for both organisms and industry in converting N2 into useful compounds, but at the same time means that burning, exploding, or decomposing nitrogen compounds to form nitrogen gas releases large amounts of useful energy. Synthetically produced ammonia and nitrates are key industrial fertilisers, fertiliser nitrates are key pollutants in the eutrophication of water systems.
Apart from its use in fertilisers and energy-stores, nitrogen is a constituent of organic compounds as diverse as Kevlar used in high-strength fabric and cyanoacrylate used in superglue. Nitrogen is a constituent including antibiotics. Many drugs are mimics or prodrugs of natural nitrogen-containing signal molecules: for example, the organic nitrates nitroglycerin and nitroprusside control blood pressure by metabolizing into nitric oxide. Many notable nitrogen-containing drugs, such as the natural caffeine and morphine or the synthetic amphetamines, act on receptors of animal neurotransmitters. Nitrogen compounds have a long history, ammonium chloride having been known to Herodotus, they were well known by the Middle Ages. Alchemists knew nitric acid as aqua fortis, as well as other nitrogen compounds such as ammonium salts and nitrate salts; the mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids was known as aqua regia, celebrated for its ability to dissolve gold, the king of metals. The discovery of nitrogen is attributed to the Scottish physician Daniel Rutherford in 1772, who called it noxious air.
Though he did not recognise it as an different chemical substance, he distinguished it from Joseph Black's "fixed air", or carbon dioxide. The fact that there was a component of air that does not support combustion was clear to Rutherford, although he was not aware that it was an element. Nitrogen was studied at about the same time by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Henry Cavendish, Joseph Priestley, who referred to it as burnt air or phlogisticated air. Nitrogen gas was inert enough that Antoine Lavoisier referred to it as "mephitic air" or azote, from the Greek word άζωτικός, "no life". In an atmosphere of pure nitrogen, animals died and flames were extinguished. Though Lavoisier's name was not accepted in English, since it was pointed out that all gases are mephitic, it is used in many languages and still remains in English in the common names of many nitrogen compounds, such as hydrazine and compounds of the azide ion, it led to the name "pnictogens" for the group headed by nitrogen, from the Greek πνίγειν "to choke".
The English word nitrogen entered the language from the French nitrogène, coined in 1790 by French chemist Jean-Antoine Chaptal, from the French nitre and the French suffix -gène, "producing", from the Greek -γενής. Chaptal's meaning was that nitrogen is the essential part of nitric acid, which in turn was produced from nitre. In earlier times, niter had been confused with Egyptian "natron" – called νίτρον in Greek – which, despite the name, contained no nitrate; the earliest military and agricultural applications of nitrogen compounds used saltpeter, most notably in gunpowder, as fertiliser. In 1910, Lord Rayleigh discovered that an electrical discharge in nitrogen gas produced "active nitrogen", a monatomic allotrope of nitrogen; the "whirling cloud of brilliant yellow light