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VISUAL CHEMISTRY

XENON

Xenon atom
   

What the name means: The word xenon come from the Greek word xenos, meaning “strange”.

Who identified xenon? Xenon was first identified by Sir William Ramsay and his assistant, Morris William Travers, in 1898, shortly after they had identified neon and krypton. The two British scientists had made modifications to their machine that made liquid air. When trying to purify a sample of krypton they identified a new gas that gave a vivid blue line in its spectrum. The scientists were a little surprised by their discovery. They called this third noble gas xenon after the Greek word for “stranger”.

About xenon: Xenon is present in the atmosphere in very small amounts. Like other noble gases it exists as single atoms of the element. It is used to provide short bursts of intense light flashes e.g. in stroboscopes and photography flashes.

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