Krypton: the essentials

Krypton is present in the air at about 1 ppm. The atmosphere of Mars contains a little (about 0.3 ppm) of krypton. It is characterised by its brilliant green and orange spectral lines. The spectral lines of krypton are easily produced and some are very sharp. In 1960 it was internationally agreed that the fundamental unit of length, the metre, should be defined as 1 m = 1,650,763.73 wavelengths (in vacuo) of the orange-red line of Kr-33.

Under normal conditions krypton is colourless, odourless, fairly expensive gas. Solid krypton is a white crystalline substance with a face-centered cubic structure which is common to all the "rare gases". Krypton difluoride, KrF2, has been prepared in gram quantities and can be made by several methods.

Table: basic information about and classifications of krypton.

Krypton: historical information

Krypton was discovered by Sir William Ramsay, Morris W. Travers at 1898 in Great Britain. Origin of name: from the Greek word "kryptos" meaning "hidden".

Krypton was discovered in 1898 by Sir William Ramsay and his student Morris Travers in the residue left after liquid air had nearly boiled away. Krypton was left in the residue after boiling away water, oxygen, nitrogen, helium, and argon from the sample of air. Krypton is present in the air at about 1 ppm. Neon was discovered by a similar procedure by the same workers just a few weeks later.

Krypton: physical properties

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Krypton: orbital properties

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Isolation: krypton is present to a small extent (about 1 ppm by volume) 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 krypton is available commercially in cylinders at high pressure.

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krypton atomic number