Xenon (Xe) is a chemical element of the periodic table, located in the group 18 and the period 5, and has the atomic number 54. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas, whose name comes from the Greek word “xenos”, which means stranger. It is a member of the noble gas group.
On periodic table
|– p block|
|Xenon is found in the eighteenth column of the periodic table below the krypton element.|
|Origin of name||Greek word “xenos” (which means stranger)|
|Atomic number (Z)||54|
|Atomic mass||131.293 u|
|Covalent radius||140±9 pm|
|Van der Waals radius||216 pm|
|Melting point||-111.75 ℃, -169.15 ℉, 161.40 K|
|Boiling point||-108.099 ℃, -162.578 ℉, 165.051 K|
|Electron configuration||[Kr] 4d10 5s2 5p6|
|Electrons per shell||2, 8, 18, 18, 8|
|Learn how to draw: Xenon Bohr model|
|Crystal structure||Face-centered cubic (fcc)|
|Phase at r.t||Gas|
|Density near r.t||5.894 g/L|
|Main isotopes||Xenon-126, Xenon-128, Xenon-129, Xenon-130, Xenon-131, Xenon-132, Xenon-134|
|Electronegativity (Pauling scale)||2.60|
|Learn how to find: Xenon protons neutrons electrons|
|Discovered by||William Ramsay and Morris Travers in 1898|
Xenon was discovered by the Scottish chemist Sir William Ramsay and English chemist Morris William Travers in 1898. They isolated the gas by fractional distillation of liquid air. Ramsay named the gas “xenon,” which means “stranger” or “foreigner” in Greek, due to its rarity and unique properties.
After the discoveries of helium, neon, argon, and krypton, xenon became the fifth noble gas to be discovered. Its discovery not only challenged the periodic law of the elements but also opened up new avenues for further discoveries of noble gases.
In the early 20th century, xenon was primarily used in scientific research and as a medical anesthetic. However, its use was limited due to its high cost and difficulty in obtaining large quantities. It was not until the 1960s that advances in gas liquefaction technology allowed for the commercial production of xenon.
Today, xenon is used in a variety of applications, including lighting, nuclear energy, aerospace, and medical imaging. Its unique properties, such as its high density and low reactivity, make it a valuable element in these industries.
Occurrence and production
Xenon is a rare and inert gas that occurs in trace amounts in Earth’s atmosphere, with a volume fraction of approximately 1 part per 11.5 million. It is also found in gases emitted from some mineral springs. The total mass of xenon in Earth’s atmosphere is estimated to be around 2.03 gigatonnes, which accounts for only a small fraction of the atmosphere’s composition. Xenon is relatively rare in the Solar System, being present in asteroids, comets, and the atmosphere of planet Jupiter.
The commercial production of xenon is achieved through the separation of air into oxygen and nitrogen by fractional distillation in a double-column plant. The liquid oxygen produced in this process contains small amounts of krypton and xenon, which can be extracted by further fractional distillation. The liquid oxygen may be enriched to contain 0.1 to 0.2% of a krypton/xenon mixture, which is then separated into krypton and xenon by distillation. This process is both energy-intensive and costly, as xenon is scarce compared to other noble gases like argon and neon.
Worldwide production of xenon was estimated at 5,000 to 7,000 cubic meters in 1998. Due to its scarcity, xenon is much more expensive than other noble gases. For example, in 1999, approximate prices for the purchase of small quantities in Europe were 10 €/L for xenon, 1 €/L for krypton, and 0.20 €/L for neon. The commercial use of xenon is primarily in lighting and medical applications.
Xenon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas.
It is a dense gas, with a density of 5.89 g/L at standard temperature and pressure.
Xenon is a noble gas and has a very low reactivity towards other elements.
Xenon is a chemically inert gas and does not form chemical compounds with other elements under normal conditions.
However, under extreme conditions such as high pressure and high temperature, xenon can form some chemical compounds like xenon hexafluoride (XeF6) and xenon tetrafluoride (XeF4).
Xenon is capable of forming weak van der Waals bonds with other elements, and this property has some applications in organic chemistry.
Xenon has seven stable isotopes and over 30 artificial unstable isotopes.
Xenon-129 is the most abundant stable isotope, making up about 26.4% of natural xenon.
Xenon-129 has various applications, including its use in environmental studies and geological dating, as well as in medical imaging techniques such as MRI.
Xenon is a good insulator of heat and electricity, and this property has some applications in lighting technology.
Xenon has potential applications in space exploration as a propellant for ion engines due to its high atomic mass and low ionization potential.
Xenon is used in high-intensity discharge lamps for various purposes including automotive headlights, photographic and movie lighting, and searchlights. These lamps are preferred due to their high efficiency, long lifespan, and color rendering ability.
Xenon has several medical uses. It can be used as an anesthetic for surgeries, as it is non-flammable, non-toxic, and has a low solubility in blood, which makes it easy to control its concentration.
Additionally, xenon has been shown to have neuroprotective properties and may be useful in the treatment of stroke, traumatic brain injury, and other neurological disorders.
Xenon is used in ion thrusters for spacecraft propulsion. Ion thrusters generate small amounts of thrust but can operate for long periods of time, making them ideal for deep space missions.
Xenon is produced during nuclear fission and can be used to analyze and monitor nuclear reactions. It can also be used as a coolant in nuclear reactors.
Xenon is used in certain types of lasers, as a detector in particle physics experiments, and as a tracer gas for leak detection in air conditioning and refrigeration systems.
Xenon is a noble gas and is considered to be the heaviest of all the stable noble gases.
The name “xenon” comes from the Greek word “xenos,” meaning “stranger” or “foreigner.”
Xenon is used in lighting technology, such as high-intensity discharge lamps (HID), where it produces a bright white light that closely resembles daylight.
Xenon is used in medical imaging, such as MRI and CT scans, as a contrast agent.
Xenon is also used in the production of semiconductors, as a coolant for nuclear reactors, and in ion propulsion systems for spacecraft.
Xenon is known to form compounds with highly electronegative elements like fluorine, but these are highly unstable and decompose quickly.
Xenon is an inert gas that is rare in the Earth’s atmosphere and has very low reactivity with the environment.
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