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Noble Gases Facts: Properties And Uses Disclosed For Kids

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Learn some amazing noble gases facts here.

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Do you know what noble gases are and do you know how they are used?

Noble gases are a group of elements that are relatively inert, meaning they don't react with other elements. They are not very reactive and it's because of this that the noble gases were given their name.

Noble gas is an element with very low reactivity in the chemical sense. They are not reactive with other elements and do not show any oxidation or reduction. However, they do form chemical compounds with other noble gases. They can exist independently in nature.

Noble gases facts are interesting facts about the most 'noble' elements on the periodic table. Read on to learn more about helium and other noble gases.

What are noble gases?

Noble gases are a collection of elements with very similar properties. They also happen to be known as inert gases.

  • The noble gases are a group of seven gaseous elements.
  • Making up Group 18 of the periodic table are the seven chemical elements that make up the noble gas group.
  • The term noble gases come from the fact that these elements don't react with other elements.
  • They are also known as inert gas groups.
  • The noble gas family is an important subset of the periodic table.
  • It is made up of many elements that have a full outer shell of electrons.
  • They have a low boiling point, which explains why they are all gases at room temperature.
  • Noble gases are chemical elements characterized by their resistance to oxidation and corrosion.
  • Krypton gets its name from the Greek language word 'Kryptos', which means 'the hidden one'.
  • Many noble gases are associated with the Scottish chemist Sir William Ramsay due to him being one of the people who discovered or isolated them.
  • Although the noble gases have consistently been referred to as 'rare gases', they aren't particularly uncommon on Earth or throughout the universe.

Classification Of Noble Gases

Know more about noble gases and their uses in industry and science. You'll find a useful table of the noble gases and their classification, as well as a brief description of each.

  • The inert gases are (He) Helium, (Kr) Krypton, (Ar) Argon, (Xe) Xenon, (Rn) Radon, (Ne) Neon, and (Og) Oganesson.
  • In 1894, John Strutt discovered a gas that was less dense than chemically-obtained pure nitrogen. With the help of William Ramsay, Strutt replicated and improved Cavendish's original experiment to better understand what the element was. This turned out to be argon.
  • Helium was first discovered in 1868, showing up as a bright yellow line with a wavelength of 587.49 nm (0.58 mm) in the spectrum. Pierre Jansen made this discovery.
  • Ramsay discovered neon in 1898 by chilling air until it turned into a liquid. He began to warm up the liquid, and as it started evaporating, gases were captured and condensed. Krypton and xenon were also found this same way.
  • One day in 1900, Friedrich Earns Dorn discovered the last gas in Group 18. He had been studying radium's decay chain, and found it to be missing something: a gas he didn't even know existed. That gas was radon. During his experiments, Dorn noticed that compounds made from radium emanated radioactive gas.
  • As the atomic number of noble gases increases, their abundances decrease.
  • Helium is a noble gas that is the second most abundant element in the universe and constitutes 24% of all matter in the universe.
  • Neon is the fifth most abundant gas, after helium sulfur dioxide, and molecular nitrogen. Argon is the 11th, preceded by oxygen and methane.
  • On Earth, the noble gases are all fairly rare except argon.
  • Argon makes up just under 1% of the Earth's atmosphere, making it the third most abundant gas in the atmosphere after nitrogen and oxygen.
  • When it comes to noble-gas electron configurations, barium has some work to be done if it wants to reach its full potential. The atom must first shed two of its electrons to become a positively charged ion in the noble gas family.
Learn about the history, origin, and discovery of the noble gases.

Characteristics Of Noble Gases

Noble gases are elements that are very unreactive due to the fact they do not gain or lose electrons. Know more about their characteristics here.

  • Helium is used to detect leaks in high-vacuum systems and to make balloons float. It's also used commercially in cryogenics, magnetotherapy, and computer chip manufacturing.
  • Due to the material, it is made up of, the element is very stable. This means that it doesn't easily react to form compounds with other elements.
  • Under standard conditions, the elements in Group 18 are gases.
  • The gases are uncolored, odorless, and do not conduct heat or electricity.
  • Their melting and boiling temperatures are very close together, which means that they only have a small temperature range in which they can be liquid.
  • Helium has the lowest melting and boiling point of any substance currently known to man.
  • Helium, neon, argon, krypton, and xenon are all inert elements with stable isotopes. Radon is the only noble gas not to have stable isotopes.
  • Neon at room temperature is a colorless gas and very inert. It glows reddish orange when kept in a vacuum tube.
  • Neon lights do not just exclusively use neon gas, but also a blend of other noble gases with other components like mercury and argon to give off vibrant lights in different hues.
  • Despite argon being neon's partner in creating bright colors, it is also used in other applications.
  • For example, argon is used in incandescent and fluorescent lamps to help produce colored light that isn't as harsh as harsher wavelengths like ultraviolet can be.
  • Noble gases are often used in creating an atmosphere that's safe and stable because they are extremely stable in their own right.
  • Xenon gets its name from the Greek 'Xenos' which translates to 'stranger or foreigner'.
  • As helium is not flammable, it is much safer to use in balloons than hydrogen.
  • These elements have full valence electrons.
  • If a compound is formed by a chemical reaction, it is unlikely to be unstable and will tend not to dissociate into its constituent elements.
  • Although some noble gas compounds do form, these typically include other more reactive elements like fluorine or oxygen.

Properties Of Noble Gases

Are you interested in noble gases? Learn about the noble gases here. You will know about the use of noble gases and the different properties of noble gases.

  • Noble gases are a family of chemical elements in the periodic table.
  • They are also very unreactive.
  • They have very low solubility in water and are non-toxic.
  • Lighter noble gases are found in the atmosphere.
  • They are also found in compounds of other elements.
  • Helium is the rarest form of gas on Earth.
  • As it's a relatively inert substance, helium doesn't actively participate in chemical reactions.
  • Helium can be produced by natural gas processing or by recycling air.
  • Each noble gas element fits right in between an element of the most electronegative group, the halogen elements, and the most electropositive group, the alkali metals.
  • The noble gases exhibit dull conductivity because of their monatomic character.
  • They absorb and emit electromagnetic radiations at specific frequencies.
  • This behavior is used in gas discharge lamps and fluorescent lighting devices. When confined at low pressure in a glass tube and on an electrical discharge passed through them, the noble gases glow.
  • Neon produces the orange-red signs seen on billboards and storefronts.
  • Xenon emits blue light that is used in commercial lighting applications.
  • Xenon is used in anesthesia.
  • Xenon is non-flammable and that makes it not dangerous to human beings.
  • Xenon is also eliminated quickly from the body which makes it hassle-free by not leaving any traces.
  • Having anesthetic equipment on hand can be great because when professionals need to remove teeth, do open-heart surgeries, or even fix broken limbs, they'll have something at their disposal like the xenon tanks that make the operations less painful on patients.
  • Radon is a highly radioactive noble gas with no known uses outside of the scientific community.
  • Oganesson is radioactive, but since only a few atoms of this element have thus far been observed, its physical and chemical properties cannot be documented.
  • In general, liquid helium is used to keep magnets cold.
  • This coolant liquefies at 452.10 F (-268.95 C) because it lasts a very long time when cooled to that temperature and doesn't evaporate as quickly as other coolants do at higher temperatures, making it ideal for use with MRI machines or anything else requiring the magnets to stay cold.
  • Noble gases are used in excimer lasers. Excimers are short-lived electronically excited molecules used in excimer lasers.
  • They are widely used for microlithography and microfabrication, which include manufacturing tiny integrated circuits that can be very difficult to produce.
  • Excimer lasers are also widely used in laser eye surgery, including laser angioplasty, an unblocking of the arteries carried out to prevent blindness permanently by way of removing built-up fatty deposits (atheromas) embedded within them.
  • Xenon is found in air, and xenon gas can be used to make a mixture that creates images of the body on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.
  • Krypton (Kr) and xenon (Xe) are two noble gases that occur in nuclear energy fission. Nuclear fission is defined as a reaction in which the nucleus of the atomic structure splits into two or smaller, lighter nuclei.

Today we have discussed the noble gases, a part of the periodic table, in brief. They are stable compounds, have full outer shells, and have electron configurations. The inert gases are not a very reactive element group because their outer shell is full.

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