Neon: the essentials

Neon is a very inert element. Neon forms an unstable hydrate. In a vacuum discharge tube, neon glows reddish orange. Of all the rare gases, the discharge of neon is the most intense at ordinary voltages and currents. It is present in the atmosphere as 1 part in 65000.

Liquid neon has over 40 times more refrigerating capacity than liquid helium, and more than 3 times that of liquid hydrogen.

Table: basic information about and classifications of neon.

Neon: historical information

Neon was discovered by Sir William Ramsay, Morris W. Travers at 1898 in London, England. Origin of name: from the Greek word "neon" meaning "new".

Neon was discovered by Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers in 1898 very shortly after their discovery of the element krypton. Both elements were discovered through work on liquid air. A little later they discovered xenon using similar methods.

Neon: physical properties

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Neon: orbital properties

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Isolation: neon is present to a small extent in the atmosphere and is obtained as a byproduct from the liquefaction and separation of air. This would not normally be carried out in the laboratory and neon is available commercially in cylinders under pressure.

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neon atomic number