Neon (Ne)

Stable isotopes of neon available from ISOFLEX

Isotope Z(p) N(n) Atomic Mass Natural Abundance Enrichment Level Chemical Form
Ne-20 10 10 19.992440176 90.48% 99.995% Gas
Ne-21 10 11 20.99384674 0.27% 70.27-90.00% Gas
Ne-22 10 12 21.9913855 9.25% 99.95% Gas

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Neon was discovered in 1898 by Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers, who also discovered krypton and xenon. It takes its name from the Greek word neon, which means “new.”

Neon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that forms face-centered cubic crystals. A zero-valent element with a highly stable octet configuration, neon is inert to practically all chemicals. Neon forms an unstable hydrate at low temperatures under high pressure. It does ionize, however, under high vacuum (as in an electric discharge tube), forming some ions.

The most important use of this gas is in “neon” lights and fluorescent signs for advertisements. Contained in glow discharge lamps or high-voltage discharge tubes at low pressure, neon emits red light. In the presence of mercury vapors, the color of the glow turns blue. Neon is also used in scintillation counters, neutron fission counters, proportional counters, and ionization chambers for detection of charged particles.

Properties of Neon

Name Neon
Symbol Ne
Atomic number 10
Atomic weight 20.179
Standard state Gas at 298 °K
CAS Registry ID 7440-01-9
Group in periodic table 18 
Group name Noble gas 
Period in periodic table
Block in periodic table p-block 
Color Colorless
Classification Nonmetallic 
Melting point -248.59 °C
Boiling point -246.08 °C
Thermal conductivity 0.0491 W/(m·K)
Heat of vaporization 1.75 kJ·mol-1
Heat of fusion 0.34 kJ·mol-1
Density of gas 1.44 g/cm3
Electron configuration  [He]2s22p6
Atomic radius  0.71 Å
Oxidation state 
Critical temperature  -228.75 ºC 
Critical pressure  26.9 atm 
Solubility in water  10.5 mL/L at 20 ºC

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