10 Interesting Facts about Xenon

These following facts about xenon will be really helpful for you who observe and study science, especially since it’s really important. Xenon is a chemical element with the symbol Xe and atomic number 54. It is a colorless, heavy, odorless noble gas, that occurs in the Earth’s atmosphere in trace amounts. Although generally unreactive, xenon can undergo a few chemical reactions such as the formation of the first noble gas compound to be synthesized. To get to know more about it, here are some other facts about xenon you may consider interesting.

Facts about Xenon 1: History

Xenon was discovered in England by the Scottish chemist William Ramsay and English chemist Morris Travers on July 12, 1898, shortly after their discovery of the elements krypton and neon. They found xenon in the residue left over from evaporating components of liquid air.

Facts about Xenon 2: Inert

Xenon and the other noble gases were for a long time considered to be completely chemically inert and not able to form compounds.

Facts about xenon - Symbol

Facts about xenon – Symbol

Facts about Xenon 3: Characteristic

In a gas-filled tube, xenon emits a blue or lavenderish glow when the gas is excited by electrical discharge. Xenon emits a band of emission lines that span the visual spectrum,but the most intense lines occur in the region of blue light, which produces the coloration.

Facts about Xenon 4: Isotopes

Naturally occurring xenon is made of eight stable isotopes, the most of any element with the exception of tin, which has ten. Xenon and tin are the only elements to have more than seven stable isotopes.

Facts about xenon - Xenon discharge tube

Facts about xenon – Xenon discharge tube

Facts about Xenon 5: Compounds

After Neil Bartlett’s discovery in 1962 that xenon can form chemical compounds, a large number of xenon compounds have been discovered and described. Almost all known xenon compounds contain the electronegative atoms fluorine or oxygen

Facts about Xenon 6: Gas-discharge Lamps

Xenon is used in light-emitting devices called xenon flash lamps, which are used in photographic flashes and stroboscopic lamps; to excite the active medium in lasers which then generate coherent light; and, occasionally, in bacterial lamps.

Facts about xenon - Xenon light

Facts about xenon – Xenon light

Facts about Xenon 7: Anesthesia

Xenon has been used as a general anesthetic. Although it is expensive, anesthesia machines that can deliver xenon are about to appear on the European market, because advances in recovery and recycling of xenon have made it economically viable.

Facts about Xenon 8: Other Applications

In nuclear energy applications, xenon is used in bubble chambers, probes, and in other areas where a high molecular weight and inert nature is desirable. A by-product of nuclear weapon testing is the release of radioactive xenon-133 and xenon-135. The detection of these isotopes is used to monitor compliance with nuclear test ban treaties, as well as to confirm nuclear test explosions by states such as North Korea.

Facts about xenon - Xenon short-arc lamp

Facts about xenon – Xenon short-arc lamp

Facts about Xenon 9: Precautions

Many oxygen-containing xenon compounds are toxic due to their strong oxiative properties, and explosive due to their tendency to break down into elemental xenon plus diatomic oxygen (O2), which contains much stronger chemical bonds than the xenon compounds.

Facts about Xenon 10: Mixture with Oxygen

It is possible to safely breathe heavy gases such as xenon or sulfur hexafluoride when they are in a mixture with oxygen; the oxygen comprising at least 20% of the mixture. Xenon at 80% concentration along with 20% oxygen rapidly produces the unconsciousness of general anesthesia.

Facts about xenon - Xenon tetrafluoride

Facts about xenon – Xenon tetrafluoride

Hopefully those who are doing some research about xenon would find xenon facts these really useful and interesting.

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