Sitting at the 10th position on the periodic table, Neon is a fascinating element with a number of fascinating characteristics and physical properties. In this article on Neon facts we are going to learn about those characteristics and properties and of course, we will delve into its history and discovery as well. So, let us begin…
|Element Family||Noble Gas | Non-metal | Group 18|
|Melting Point||-248.57°C or 24.53 K|
|Boiling Point||-246.0°C or 27.1 K|
|Density at 20°C||0.0009 g/cm3|
|Number of Electrons||10|
|Number of Protons||10|
|Number of Neutrons (as found in most abundant isotope)||10|
|Known Isotopes||There are total 19 isotopes of Neon of while 3 are stable and 16 are radioactive.|
|Element Structure||Fcc or face-centered cubic|
|Hardness||Not applicable as it is a gas|
Isotopes of Neon:
|Isotope Name||Type and Abundance||Half Life (HL)|
|20Ne||Stable: 90.48% abundance||Doesn’t decay and hence, no HL|
|21Ne||Stable: 0.27% abundance||Doesn’t decay and hence, no HL|
|22Ne||Stable: 9.25% abundance||Doesn’t decay and hence, no HL|
|24Ne||Radio active||3.38 minutes|
* Indicates that the isotope decays within a few seconds or few milliseconds.
Now that we are done with the basic information, let us learn about Neon facts that we promised.
Neon Facts: 1-5 | Naming and Discovery
1. The name of the element is derived from νέον – a Greek Work, which is read as neos. It means ‘New’.
2. Neon was first discovered in year 1898 by two chemists named – William Ramsay and Morris Travers. They did this in the University College London.
3. Discovery of Neon was pretty interesting. In 1894, Ramsay had already found Argon along with Lord Rayleigh.
4. In 1895, Ramsay found first sample of Helium in world. Ramsay did know that there has to be an element right between Argon and Helium. However, he was unable to find it.
5. Ramsay found Helium in a radioactive mineral. So, he tried his luck in a similar path. He worked with several minerals for finding the missing element between Argon and Helium but with no luck.
Neon Facts: 6-10 | Naming and Discovery
6. Ramsay however knew it very well that sometimes one element could stay hidden behind another element. For instance, Berzelius who discovered Cerium by from the mineral cerite had no idea that there was another element in the mineral.
7. Several years later, one of Berzelius’ former students known as Mosander found Lanthanum in cerite.
8. Equipped with this knowledge, Ramsay went back to his previous discovery – Argon. He took liquid air and froze Argon.
9. He then slowly evaporated the frozen Argon by reducing pressure. When evaporation began, the first gas that came off was captured.
10. Placing the gas in a vacuum tube, Ramsay applied high voltage. The idea was to find the spectrum of the gas. It is then that Ramsay noticed the bright red-orange color of Neon. That’s how Neon was discovered.
Neon Facts: 11-15 | Abundance and Extraction
11. How abundant is Neon? The answer to this question is very confusing. Neon is considered as both Abundant and Rare. In the atmosphere of our Earth, Neon is a rare element and hence, called Rare Gas. Only 0.0018% of our atmosphere is Neon.
12. When we look into the rest of the Universe, Neon is pretty abundant. As a matter of fact, Neon is the 5th most abundant element in our universe. The four most abundant elements in order are:
13. Abundance of Neon in Earth’s crust is 5 parts per billion in terms of weight. In terms of moles it is again 5 parts per billion.
14. Abundance of Neon in our Solar System is 1,000 parts per million in terms of weight. In terms of moles, it is 70 parts per million.
15. Obtaining Neon is very difficult. The method used is called fractional distillation of liquid air. Yes, Neon can be commercially produced only and only from air using the process mentioned.
Neon Facts: 16-20 | Extraction and Price
16. In order to obtain Neon, we first need to cool down the air until it becomes liquid.
17. The liquid air is then allowed to gradually warm up. As that happens, different elements gradually convert back into gas at different temperatures. The portion of the liquid air that converts into gas at the temperature of -246.0°C is the Neon gas.
18. Neon is highly expensive. Since Neon is rare on Earth, the extracted neon is 55 times far more expensive that liquid helium.
19. Despite the fact that Neon is very rare on Earth, you can still obtain about 10 liters of Neon if you can manage to extract all the air from a new house in USA and use it to extract Neon. In general, out of 54,900 liters of dry air, only 1 liter is Neon.
20. As far as price is concerned, 100 grams of pure Neon will cost around USD 33.