the colorless gas
that makes colorful lights
Neon is one of the Noble
Gases. It has the atomic number 10, and an
atomic weight of 20.183. It liquefies under
normal pressure at -246° C.
Neon makes up about 18 parts
per million in the Earth's atmosphere.
Commercially, neon is obtained
as a by-product of liquid air manufacture. When
air is liquefied at about -200° C, neon is left
behind as a gas. It is sold in glass tubes that
contain 1 quart of neon under pressure.
Neon is used chiefly for
filling lamps and luminous sign tubes. It is
expensive, but very little is needed -- about one
quart per 200 to 300 feet of tubing.
British chemists Sir William
Ramsay and Morris W. Travers discovered neon in
the atmosphere while they were studying liquid
air in 1898. Ramsay had predicted the existence
of this gas one year earlier. Ramsay and Travers
named the gas neon, from the Greek word
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