Neon, a chemical element with the symbol Ne, is a very common element in the universe but rare on the earth. It exists as a colourless gas and is extracted for commercial use from air. But who discovered neon? This article will answer that very question, and also look at nine interesting facts about neon.
Who Discovered Neon
Neon was discovered in 1898 by Scottish chemist William Ramsay and English chemist Morris Travers. It was discovered when Ramsay cooled a sample of the atmosphere until it became liquid. Cleverly, he then boiled the liquid and captured the gases as the liquid boiled. He discovered three different gases; krypton, xenon and neon. So there you go! You now know who discovered neon. Now let’s look at nine fascinating facts about neon.
Nine Fascinating Facts about Neon
Fact 1: Neon is named after the greek work ‘neon’ (obviously!) which means ‘new one’.
Fact 2: Neon is a noble gas and is almost completely inert (which means it almost never reacts with other elements). However, neon does form unstable hydrates and neon ions are slightly reactive
Fact 3: Advertising signs are often made out of neon lights. You can recognise a neon light by its very distinctive red-orange color.
Fact 4: Neon is the fifth most abundant element in the universe, after hydrogen, helium, oxygen and carbon. It is rare of earth as it is inert and light.
Fact 5: Neon is found as a monatomic gas. This means it is found as Ne, not Ne2 at standard conditions.
Fact 6: There was probably more neon on the earth some time in its history, as large concentrations of neon are found in diamonds.
Fact 7: Neon is used in vacuum tubes, helium-neon lasers, television tubes and high-voltage indicators.
Fact 8: Neon has three stable isotopes. The most abundant, at a little over 90%, is 20Ne.
Fact 9: Neon is the second lightest noble gas.