Neon was first discovered by Morris Travers and William Ramsay in 1898 shortly after the discovery of krypton in the same year. They both froze argon sample with the help of liquid air and slowly evaporated argon under low pressure to collect the new gas. They applied a high voltage to a vacuum tube placed with the obtained gas sample to observe the spectrum. Interestingly, they perceived a brilliant glow, which had never been seen before. The scientists named the new gas neon, which means "new" in Latin.
||Gas at 298 K
|CAS Registry ID
|Group in periodic table
|Period in periodic table
|Block in periodic table
||24.56 K (-248.59°C or -415.46°F)
||27.07 K (-246.08°C or -410.94°F)
|Phase at room temperature
Neon has a concentration of 18.2 ppm in the Earth's atmosphere and 5 ppm in the Earth’s crust.
Neon has 14 isotopes with mass numbers ranging from 16Ne to 29Ne. 20Ne, 21Ne and 22Ne are the three naturally-occurring isotopes.
Neon can be produced as a by-product from the liquefaction of air and by separation from other elements using fractional distillation.
The key properties of neon include the following:
- It is a colorless, tasteless odorless inert gas
- It changes to reddish-orange color in vacuum tube
- It is chemically inactive
- It has the lowest liquid range of any element.
Some of the applications of neon are listed below:
- It is used for manufacturing high-voltage indicators, television tubes, wave meter tubes and lightning arrestors
- The reddish-orange color emitted from the neon lights are used for advertising purposes
- It is commercially used as cryogenic refrigerant
- It is combined with helium to produce helium-neon lasers.