What is Neon? Origin / Meaning of the name Neon
The name 'neon' originates from the Greek word 'neos' meaning new. Neon was discovered by Sir William Ramsay and one of his students, Morris W Travers in 1898 and Neon was so called because it was newly discovered.
What is Neon? Periodic Table Group and Classification of the Neon Element
Elements can be classified based on their physical states (States of Matter) e.g. gas, solid or liquid. This element is a gas. Neon is classified as an element in the 'Noble Gases' section which can be located in group 18 of the Periodic Table. The term 'Noble gas' derives from the Old High German word Edelgas from 'edili' meaning "noble". The name 'noble gases' is an allusion to the old, similarly termed 'Noble Metals'. The Noble Metals included gold, silver and platinum which were so called due to their long association with the aristocracy. For additional facts and information about the element refer to Neon Properties.
Facts about the Discovery and History of the Neon Element
Neon was discovered by the Scottish scientist Sir William Ramsay (2 October 1852 – 23 July 1916) and one of his students, Morris W Travers (1872–1961) in 1898.
Sir William Ramsay (1852 - 1916)
Sir William Ramsay discovered the noble gases and received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1904 "in recognition of his services in the discovery of the inert gaseous elements in air". These elements included Argon, Krypton and Xenon. Ramsay also isolated helium which had been observed in the spectrum of the sun but had not been found on earth. In 1910 Ramsay also made and characterized radon.
What is Neon? Occurrence of the Neon Element
Neon is a rare gas that is found in the Earth's atmosphere
Neon is obtained by liquefaction of air and separation using fractional distillation - obtained from liquid air
Abundances of the element in different environments
% in Universe 0.13%
% in Sun 0.1%
% in Meteorites N/A
% in Earth's Crust 3×10-7%
% in Oceans 1.2×10-8%
% in Humans N/A
Associated Uses of Neon
Neon lights & signs. Neon lighting was invented by the French chemist Georges Claude (1870-1960). A neon light consists of a glass tube filled with neon. An electric current is passed through the tube which causes neon atoms to break apart. The parts recombine almost immediately and they give off neon light.
Gas discharge lightning arrestors