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The Element Xenon


"The Atom"

Definition of the Xenon Element
A colorless, odorless, highly unreactive gaseous element found in minute quantities in the atmosphere and extracted commercially from liquefied air. In a gas filled tube xenon emits blue light when excited by electrical discharge. It is used in stroboscopic, bactericidal, and laser-pumping lamps. The Atomic Number of this element is 54 and the Element Symbol is Xe.

The Properties of the Xenon Element
Symbol of Element : Xe
Atomic Number: 54
Atomic Mass: 131.29 amu
Melting Point: -111.9 C - 161.25 K
Boiling Point: -108.1 C - 165.05 K
Number of Protons/Electrons: 54
Number of Neutrons: 77
Crystal Structure: Cubic
Density @ 293 K: 5.8971 g/cm3
Color: Colorless

What is Xenon? Origin / Meaning of the name Xenon
The name originates from the Greek word 'xenon' meaning the stranger.

What is Xenon? Periodic Table Group and Classification of the Xenon Element
Elements can be classified based on their physical states (States of Matter) e.g. gas, solid or liquid. This element is a gas. Xenon 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.

Facts about the Discovery and History of the Xenon Element
Xenon was discovered by William Ramsay and Morris Travers in England 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 neon. 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 Xenon? Occurrence of the Xenon Element
A trace gas in Earth's atmosphere, occurring in one part in twenty million
Obtained from liquid air

Abundances of the element in different environments
% in Universe 110-6%
% in Sun N/A
% in Meteorites N/A
% in Earth's Crust 210-9%
% in Oceans 510-10%
% in Humans N/A

Associated Uses of Xenon
Stroboscopic, bactericidal, and laser-pumping lamps
Photographic flashes
General anaesthetic

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Noble Gases
Periodic Law
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