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Elements for Kids

Neon

The element neon

  • Symbol: Ne
  • Atomic Number: 10
  • Atomic Weight: 20.1797
  • Classification: Noble gas
  • Phase at Room Temperature: Gas
  • Density: 0.9002 g/L @ 0°C
  • Melting Point: -248.59°C, -415.46°F
  • Boiling Point: -246.08°C, -410.94°F
  • Discovered by: Sir William Ramsay and M. W. Travers in 1898
Neon is the second noble gas located in column 18 of the period table. Neon is the fifth most abundant element in the universe. Neon atoms have 10 electrons and 10 protons with a full outer shell of 8 electrons.

Characteristics and Properties

Under standard conditions the element neon is a colorless odorless gas. It is a completely inert gas, meaning that it will not combine with other elements or substances to create a compound.

Neon has the narrowest liquid range of any element. It only remains a liquid from 24.55 K to 27.05 K. It is the second lightest noble gas after helium.

When neon is in a vacuum discharge tube, it glows with a reddish-orange light.

Where is neon found on Earth?

Neon is a very rare element on Earth. It is found in very small traces in both the Earth's atmosphere and the Earth's crust. It can be produced commercially from liquid air through a process called fractional distillation.

Neon is a much more common element in stars and is the fifth most abundant element in the universe. It is created during the alpha process of stars when helium and oxygen are fused together.

How is neon used today?

Neon is used in lighting signs that are often called "neon" signs. However, neon is only used to produce a reddish orange glow. Other gases are used to create other colors even though they are still called neon signs.

Other applications that use neon include lasers, television tubes, and vacuum tubes. The liquid form of neon is used for refrigeration and is considered a more effective refrigerant than liquid helium.

How was it discovered?

Neon was discovered by British chemists Sir William Ramsay and Morris W. Travers in 1898. They warmed liquefied air and captured the gases that came off it as it boiled. They discovered three new elements including krypton, neon, and xenon. Neon was the second element they discovered.

Where did neon get its name?

The name neon comes from the Greek word "neos" which means "new".

Isotopes

There are three known stable isotopes of neon including neon-20, neon-21, and neon-22. The most common is neon-20 which makes up about 90% of the naturally occurring neon.

Interesting Facts about Neon


More on the Elements and the Periodic Table

Elements
Periodic Table

Alkali Metals
Lithium
Sodium
Potassium

Alkaline Earth Metals
Beryllium
Magnesium
Calcium
Radium

Transition Metals
Scandium
Titanium
Vanadium
Chromium
Manganese
Iron
Cobalt
Nickel
Copper
Zinc
Silver
Platinum
Gold
Mercury
Post-transition Metals
Aluminum
Gallium
Tin
Lead

Metalloids
Boron
Silicon
Germanium
Arsenic

Nonmetals
Hydrogen
Carbon
Nitrogen
Oxygen
Phosphorus
Sulfur
Halogens
Fluorine
Chlorine
Iodine

Noble Gases
Helium
Neon
Argon

Lanthanides and Actinides
Uranium
Plutonium

More Chemistry Subjects

Matter
Atom
Molecules
Isotopes
Solids, Liquids, Gases
Melting and Boiling
Chemical Bonding
Chemical Reactions
Radioactivity and Radiation
Mixtures and Compounds
Naming Compounds
Mixtures
Separating Mixtures
Solutions
Acids and Bases
Crystals
Metals
Salts and Soaps
Water
Other
Glossary and Terms
Chemistry Lab Equipment
Organic Chemistry
Famous Chemists


Science >> Chemistry for Kids >> Periodic Table





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