Neon

Atomic Number: 10 Atomic Radius: 154 pm (Van der Waals)
Atomic Symbol: Ne Melting Point: -258.59 °C
Atomic Mass: 20.18 Boiling Point: -246.08 °C
Electron Configuration:
[He] 2s2 2p6
Oxidation States:

History

(Gr. neos: new) Discovered by Ramsay and Travers in 1898. Neon is a rare gaseous element present in the atmosphere to the extent of 1 part in 65,000 of air. It is obtained by liquefaction of air and separated from the other gases by fractional distillation.

Isotopes

Natural neon is a mixture of three isotopes. Six other unstable isotopes are known.

Compounds

Neon is a very inert element,  however, it has been reported to form a compound with fluorine. It is still questionable if true compounds of neon exist, but evidence is mounting in favor of their existence. The ions, Ne+, (NeAr)+, (NeH)+, and (HeNe+) are known from optical and mass spectrometric studies. Neon also forms an unstable hydrate.

Neon
Neon.

Properties

In a vacuum discharge tube, neon glows reddish orange.

It has over 40 times more refrigerating capacity per unit volume than liquid helium and more than three times that of liquid hydrogen. It is compact, inert, and is less expensive than helium when it meets refrigeration requirements.

Of all the rare gases, the discharge of neon is the most intense at ordinary voltages and currents.

Neon - open sign
Neon is often used in advertising signs.

Uses

Although neon advertising signs account for the bulk of its use, neon also functions in high-voltage indicators, lightning arrestors, wave meter tubes, and TV tubes. Neon and helium are used in making gas lasers. Liquid neon is now commercially available and is finding important application as an economical cryogenic refrigerant.

Source:

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Periodic Table of Elements, http://periodic.lanl.gov/list.shtml.