Argon is a chemical element with the symbol Ar. Its atomic number is 18 and is in group 18 of the periodic table, making it a noble gas. Argon is the most abundant noble gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. But who discovered argon? This article will answer exactly that question and also look at seven interesting facts about argon.
Who Discovered Argon
In 1785, Henry Cavendish suspected that there was a very unreactive gas in the Earth’s atmosphere but he couldn’t identify it. In 1882, H.F. Newall and W.N. Hartley both looked at the color spectrum for air and found some lines that they couldn’t account for. They could not identify the element responsible for these strange lines in the spectrum. We now know that argon makes those particular lines in the color spectrum. Only in 1894 was argon discovered. Lord Rayleigh and Sir William Ramsay removed all the oxygen and nitrogen from a sample of air and discovered argon. So now you know who discovered argon. Now let’s look at six fast facts about argon.
Six Facts about Argon
Fact 1: Argon was named after the Greek work ‘argon’ which means ‘lazy one’. This name was given in reference to its chemical inactivity.
Fact 2: Argon is colorless, tasteless, odorless and non-toxic in both gas form and liquid form. It is inert (unreactive) in almost all forms and conditions, forming no stable compounds at room temperature.
Fact 3: Argon is slightly soluble in water. It has the same solubility as oxygen gas, and is three times more soluble that nitrogen gas.
Fact 4: While argon is almost completely unreactive, researchers have determined that it can form argon hydrofluoride (HArF) in specific conditions.
Fact 5: The planet Mercury has a very thin atmosphere that is believed to contain up to 70% argon.
Fact 6: Argon, like many noble gases, is used in welding.