AllPeriodicTables Home
Questions?    Call Us    1-773-271-0318     9am to 2pm   Central Time   Mon.-Fri.


Atomic Symbol: Ne
Atomic Number: 10
Atomic Weight: 131.30
Melting Point: 24.56 K
Boiling Point: 119.93 K
Density: 0.9002 g/L
Phase at Room Temperature: Gas
Element Classification: Non-metal
Period Number: 4
Group Number: 18
Group Name: Noble Gas
Greek word for
new one, neos.
Sounds like


Neon signs really are made with neon, like this Ne-shaped tube filled with this inert gas.

A high voltage transformer sends an electric current through the tube, creating a characteristic bright neon-red arc.

Neon, although a very common element in the universe, it is rare on Earth. A colorless, inert noble gas under standard conditions, neon gives a distinct reddish glow when used in vacuum discharge tubes and neon lamps. It is commercially extracted from air, in which it is found in trace amounts.

Neon was discovered in 1898 by Scottish chemist William Ramsay (1852 - 1916) and English chemist Morris W. Travers in London, England. Neon was discovered when Ramsay chilled a sample of the atmosphere until it became a liquid, then warmed the liquid and captured the gases as they boiled off. The three gases were krypton, xenon, and neon On December 1910, French engineer Georges Claude made a lamp from an electrified tube of neon gas. On January 19, 1915, Claude began selling his tubes to U.S. companies; the Packard car dealership in Los Angeles is one of the first to buy.

Neon is the second-lightest noble gas, glows reddish-orange in a vacuum discharge tube. According to recent studies, neon is the least reactive noble gas and thus the least reactive of all elements. It has over 40 times the refrigerating capacity of liquid helium and three times that of liquid hydrogen (on a per unit volume basis). In most applications it is a less expensive refrigerant than helium.

Neon plasma has the most intense light discharge at normal voltages and currents of all the noble gases. The average color of this light to the human eye is red-orange due to many lines in this range; it also contains a strong green line which is hidden, unless the visual components are dispersed by a spectroscope.

Two quite different kinds of neon lights are in common use. Glow-discharge lamps are typically tiny, and often designed to operate at 120 volts; they are widely used as power-on indicators and in circuit-testing equipment. Neon signs and other arc-discharge devices operate instead at high voltages, and can be made into (often bent) tubes a few meters long.

Neon is the fifth most abundant chemical element in the universe by mass, after hydrogen, helium, oxygen, and carbon. Its relative rarity on Earth, like that of helium, is due to its relative lightness and chemical inertness, both properties keeping it from being trapped in the condensing gas and dust clouds of the formation of smaller and warmer solid planets like Earth.

Mass abundance in the universe is about 1 part in 750 and in the Sun and presumably in the proto-solar system nebula, about 1 part in 600. The Galileo spacecraft atmospheric entry probe found that even in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter, neon is reduced by about a factor of 10, to 1 part in 6,000 by mass. This may indicate that even the ice-planetesmals which brought neon into Jupiter from the outer solar system, formed in a region which was too warm for them to have kept their neon.

Neon is the first p-block noble gas. Theoretically the least reactive of all noble gases (including helium which produces a metastable compound HHeF), and therefore generally considered to be inert. The calculated bond energies of neon with noble metals, hydrogen, berylium and boron are lesser than that of helium or any other noble gas. No true compounds including the neutral compounds of neon are known. However, the ions have been observed.


< previous . . . next information page >

Democritus,  Periodic Table Basis,  Patenting,   Element Groups,  Mendeleev,  Element Symbols,  Spiral Models, de Chancourtois,  hydrogen,  Noble Gases,  neon,  Niels Bohr,  Theodore Gray,  Rare Earths, krypton,  Glenn Seaborg,  xenon,  Alexander Arrangement of Elements,  Eric Scerri,  Fernando Dufour,  Other Inventors

AlexanderDESIGN     4851 N. Washtenaw Ave., Chicago, IL 60625     773.271.0318     last update 5/1/12