Noble Gases: Properties of Each Element

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The noble gases are group 18 of the periodic table and are chemical elements with similar properties. All of the noble gases have a full outer shell. None of them have color, odor, and all have very low chemical reactivity. There are six of them and they are Helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon. Helium Helium has an atomic number of 2. It is has no color, no odor, or no taste. It is also an inert monatomic gas. It is the first of the noble gases on the periodic table. It’s melting and boiling points are the lowest among all elements and only exists as a gas except in extreme conditions. Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, although not normally found naturally on earth but created by radioactive decay. Helium is one of the only elements with escape velocity which is when released into the atmosphere, it goes off into space. As a matter of fact helium is the only element to be found in space before being found on Earth. In 1868, an astronomer named Pierre Janssen was in India observing a solar eclipse. He was using spectroscope to help him with his observations, and while using it he saw a yellow line in the spectrum, which no one had ever heard of or saw. This indicated that the existence of an unknown element. Janssen named it helium after the Greek god Helios, otherwise known as Apollo, whom was associated with the Sun. Janseen got together with a well world known English astronomer Sir Joseph Lockyer who was best known for his work in analyzing light waves. Lockyer, just like Janssen, also believed that Janseen had discovered a new element. A few months later he also observed the same spectrum that Janseen had discovered. The spectroscope was still a new invention most of the science world did... ... middle of paper ... ...ce not valid. Picture of Xenon Radon Radon is the final element of the noble gases. Its symbol is 86 and its atomic number is 86. It is colorless, tasteless, odorless and a gas. It is one of the densest substances that remains a gas under normal conditions. Radon is formed as one part in the radioactive decay chains of thorium and uranium as they decay into lead. As radon decays, it produces decay products. These products stick to things in the air like dust particles. If these dust particles are inhaled the can stick to ones lungs and cause lung cancer. Several studies have proven that those who breathe in radon gas are more likely to have lung cancer than those who don’t. This therefore makes radon a considerable hazard in workplaces such as mechanic shops and ship yards. Radon poisoning comes in second to lives claimed from lung cancer only to cigarette smoking.

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