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Xenon (Xe): Noble Gases

Xenon (Xe)

What is Xenon?

Xenon (Xe), chemical element, a heavy and extremely rare gas of Group 18 (noble gases) of the periodic table. It was the first noble gas found to form true chemical compounds. More than 4.5 times heavier than air, xenon is colourless, odourless, and tasteless. Solid xenon belongs to the face-centred cubic crystal system, which implies that its molecules, which consist of single atoms, behave as spheres packed together as closely as possible. The name xenon is derived from the Greek word xenos, “strange” or “foreign.” Continue reading from Encyclopedia Britannica

The History

Xenon was discovered in July 1898 by William Ramsay and Morris Travers at University College London. They had already extracted neon, argon, and krypton from liquid air, and wondered if it contained other gases. The wealthy industrialist Ludwig Mond gave them a new liquid-air machine and they used it to extract more of the rare gas krypton.

By repeatedly distilling this, they eventually isolated a heavier gas, and when they examined this in a vacuum tube it gave a beautiful blue glow. They realised it was yet another member of the ‘inert’ group of gaseous elements as they were then known because of their lack of chemical reactivity. They called the new gas xenon. It was this gas which Neil Bartlett eventually showed was not inert by making a fluorine derivative in 1962. So far more than 100 xenon compounds have been made. Continue reading from The Royal Society of Chemistry

Xenon Facts

Like helium, you can fill balloons with xenon, but it is very expensive and the balloon becomes very heavy because the gas is so dense. An average balloon can hold around 40 lbs. Xenon atoms added to liquid helium are used to observe quantum tornadoes. Xenon creates a blue or lavender glow when subjected to an electrical discharge. Continue reading from LiveScience

Chart of Elemental Properties for Xenon

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