Cities at night would be rather boring without all the bright lights. They provide colorful Illuminations and help make things much more visible. We call these lights “neon lights,” but they use several gases to make the differenet colors.
The reactivity of an element can give us important clues as to the electron configuration of that material. If an element is extremely unreactive, this suggests that the electron configuration is such that adding or removing electrons is very unlikely. There must be a stable electron configuration that resists further reaction.
Noble Gas Compounds
Colors of Noble Gases
The different gases glow when an electric current is passed through them. Many of these gases are used in displays because of their chemical inertness. They are stable and will not react with other materials in the system. Radon also will give a reddish glow, but is not used because it is radioactive and will not retain its structure as radon for any significant length of time.
- The noble gases are in Group VIII of the periodic table
- Helium has a full outer shell of two s electrons
- The other gases have full outer shells of two s and six p electrons.
- Compounds have been formed with Rn, Xe, Kr, and Ar.
Use the link below to answer the following questions:
- Where was helium discovered? What does the name mean?
- What does krypton react with?
- What does xenon react with?
- List present-day uses for each of the noble gases.
- What elements comprise the noble elements?
- What state are they in at room temperature?
- Why is helium non-reactive?
- Why were the other noble gases believed to be non-reactive?
- When was the first compound formed from xenon?
- What happens when an electric current is passed through these gases?