In our last article on Neon facts, we learned about the element’s discovery and about its extraction and price. In this article on Neon fun facts, we are going to learn a few more things about the element that are far more interesting. So, without wasting time any further, let us take a quick look into those facts…
Neon Fun Facts: 1-5 | Neon and Stars
1. Neon and stars have a history of billions of years together. Yes, Neon is created inside stars. The question is, which stars produce Neon?
2. Any star that has mass equivalent to 8 times the mass of our very own Sun will produce Neon.
3. Here is something interesting. The element is not produced always. Only during the alpha process, the element is produced.
4. Wonder what an alpha process of a star is? It is basically a process within the star when Oxygen and Helium fuse together through nuclear fusion reaction inside a star. Neon is produced only during this particular process.
5. Stars don’t have electric currents and hence, the Neon produced inside the stars do not glow in bright red-orange color. This is why, even if you look up to a clear night sky and witness millions of stars, you won’t be able to see Neon shining down on you.
Neon Fun Facts: 6-10 | Dangers of Neon
6. Is Neon toxic? No, not at all. Neon is not toxic. However, it doesn’t mean that the gas cannot harm you.
7. Neon is an inert gas and a noble gas. These gases are known as asphyxiation gases. Neon can asphyxiate you.
8. When you inhale Neon in significant quantities, the gas will slowly replace the Oxygen in your blood. As Oxygen levels deplete, you will gradually suffocate. Excessive inhalation of Neon can lead to death by asphyxiation.
9. Another threat from Neon comes in form of frostbite. Yes, Neon can give you frostbites but only in its liquid form. The liquid Neon is extremely cold, colorless and odorless. If your skin comes in contact with liquid Neon, you can get serious frostbites.
10. The container holding liquid Neon can violently rupture if it is exposed to heat or fire for a prolonged period of time. That kind of violent rupturing is seriously dangerous.
Neon Fun Facts: 11-15 | Applications of Neon
11. Talking of liquid Neon, it is an extremely efficient cryogenics or cryonics agent. In fact, compare to liquid Helium, liquid Neon is 40 times more effective.
12. Compared to liquid Hydrogen, liquid Neon is 3 times more effective when it comes to cryo-preservation.
13. Liquid Neon can be used for preserving dead bodies by freezing them so that the bodies can be potentially revived later in future.
14. One of the commonest applications of Neon is creation of Neon Signs. You have seen those glowing signs right? Those are called Neon Signs.
15. As mentioned in our previous article, Neon (in low pressure) when subjected to high voltage, produces a bright red-orange glow. This property is used for creating Neon Signs. Only signs with bright red-orange color are made of pure Neon. If you see other colors, that because of other noble gases and not Neon. If signs are created using other noble gases, they aren’t Neon Signs technically but we still call them Neon Signs. However, they are just as pretty.
Neon Fun Facts: 16-20 | Applications of Neon
16. Only Neon light has ability of passing through dense fog. Other lights with get obscured in fog but not Neon light. This is why it is heavily used by airports and aircraft that operate in cold regions where dense fog is a regular phenomenon.
17. There are many more applications of Neon. For instance, it is used in lightning arrestors, high-voltage indicators, vacuum tubes, television tubes, wave meter tubes, plasma tubes and even in helium-neon lasers.
18. 1902 is the year when Neon lighting were first produced by Georges Claude because he had excessive or surplus Neon in his company. His company was an air-liquefaction company.
19. Eight years later in 1910, Georges Claude thought of producing home lighting using Neon and vacuum tubes. However, the color was not acceptable by homeowners for the purpose of indoor lighting and hence, the idea failed miserably.
20. The first ever Neon light that went on display was in Paris. The date was December 11, 1910. This information comes from Neon Library. Neon Library is basically a website which is maintained by Skip DeBack – a Neon Artist. He also says that the first commercial sale of Neon light took place in 1912 and that the purchaser was a barber.
Neon Fun Facts: 21-25 | Some Fun Neon Trivia
21. It was year 1855 when the first precursor of Neon Light was actually invented. The person who did this was Heinrich Geissler. He was a German physicist. He experimented with various gases for example mercury vapor.
22. He inserted the gases into a vacuum tube and passed electricity through the same to produce glows. Geissler did this before Neon was isolated.
23. But do you know how Neon Signs work? In those signs, you will see glass tubes. These glass tubes are filled with Neon. Each tube has electrode attached to it at one end. Alternating Current (invented by Nikola Tesla) is passed through those electrodes at a rate of 50 cycles per second.
24. The current alternates between positive and negative electrodes. These tubes are known to have free electrons that are negatively charged. Because of the current, the negatively charged electrons get attracted to the positively charged electrode.
25. In this process, the electrons bombard into Neon molecules and knock off more electrons. As the molecules lose electrons, they become positively charged and try to grab back electrons to become neutral. In this process, the molecules give of light that we see as Neon Light.
Neon Fun Facts: 26-30 | Some Fun Neon Trivia
26. Neon Signs can last for about 20 years at a stretch. This is possible because the element (Neon) is inert and will not react with anything else to form a different compound. However, the Neon tube should be very well-processed.
27. Neon is a loner! We seriously mean that. It is an inert gas and will not combine with any other element to form a compound. There are no known compound of Neon.
28. Neon is a monoatomic gas and hence, it is lighter than air (which primarily consists of Nitrogen). This is why, a balloon filled with Neon will rise up into the sky. However, Helium balloons will rise faster because Helium is lighter than Neon.
29. Did you know that Neon is sometimes available in diamonds and some volcanic vents?
30. Finally, it was not Ramsay (one who discovered Neon) who named the gas. The name was actually suggested by his son.