Noble gases definition: Noble gases, also known as inert gases or erosions, belong to the 18th group in the modern periodic table. The components of this group are:
Under standard conditions of temperature and pressure, noble gases exist in a gaseous state. They have very low chemical reactivity because all noble gases have stable electronic configurations. They do not readily form molecules and appear as monoatomic gases.
The general electronic configuration of noble gases can get written as ‘ns2np6’. Therefore, the outermost valence shells of noble gases can be considered ‘complete’. It is the reason behind the chemically inert nature of the group of 18 elements.
These gases make up a group because of the stability of these elements. The crust of these stable elements is completely filled. Inert gases are used in a variety of applications, regardless of their inert or infrequent nature.
What are the non-metallic properties of noble or inert gases?
Inert gases are common metals in many respects. They are colourless, odourless gases with low liquefaction and boiling points and are bad conductors of heat and electricity, even in liquid form. Like other groups in the periodic table, they also have a clear trend in their melting and boiling points. The melting point and boiling point increase below the group – although the boiling points move below the group – Radon’s boiling point is still -62oC, but they all boil at low temperatures.
The concentration of inert gases also increases below the group, as a result of which the atoms always become larger. Helium has the smallest and lightest atoms, so helium gas has a lower density than air, which is important when looking at it.
What are the properties of noble gases components?
Properties of Helium (He)
Helium is a chemical element denoted by the symbol He. The atomic number of helium is number 2. Under standard conditions of temperature and pressure (STP), helium remains a colourless monoatomic gas with no characteristic odour or taste. It should be noted that helium is non-toxic at small concentrations. This is the first and lightest gas.
Properties of Neon (Ne)
Neon is a chemical element represented by the symbol Ne. The atomic number of neon is 10. Under STP, neon remains a colourless monoatomic gas (similar to helium). This gas has no specific odour. Neon is the second lightest gas, followed by helium.
Properties of Argon (Ar)
Argon is the third noblest gas with an atomic number of 18. This element is represented by the symbol Ar. In the Earth’s atmosphere, argon is the third most abundant gas. Argon is a colourless gas that exhibits a purple or lilac colour when placed in an electric field under standard conditions of temperature and pressure.
Properties of Krypton (Kr)
Krypton is the fourth noble gas. The atomic number of krypton is 36. This element is often represented by the symbol Kr. Under STP, krypton remains a colourless monoatomic gas with no characteristic odour. This gas is also called tasteless.
Properties of Xenon (Xe)
Xenon, the fifth noble gas, has an atomic number of 54. The symbol ‘Xe’ is often used to denote xenon. Under STP, this element is known as a colourless, odourless monoatomic gas. This P-block component corresponds to period 5 and group 18 of the modern periodic table.
Properties of Radon (Rn)
It is a noble gas with the atomic number 86. The symbol for this element is Rn. Under standard conditions, radon (like other noble gases) is a characteristic, colourless, odourless gas. It should be noted that radon is radioactive. In fact, the most stable isotope of radon at 222Rn is known to have a half-life of 3.8 days.
What are the uses of noble gases?
In metallurgical processes, argon is widely used to provide the necessary inert environment. This inert atmosphere plays an important role in the welding of titanium, aluminium, stainless steel and magnesium.
Argon is used in limited quantities in germanium and silicon crystals are used in electric bulbs and transistors.
Helium has the lowest boiling point. This is used to obtain the minimum temperature required by the laser.
Helium is used as a cooling gas in nuclear reactors and as a flowing gas in liquid-gas chromatography. It finds its application in aeroplanes and helium balloons.
Helium balloons are used to test the climate of a particular region. Although hydrogen is cheaper, helium is preferred over hydrogen because hydrogen is more flammable because helium is more readily available. Therefore, helium is preferred over aircraft due to safety issues.
Nitrogen is used to dilute the oxygen in gas cylinders used by divers, as nitrogen readily dissolves in the blood, causing a painful condition called bend. Helium’s ability to form curves is slightly less than that of nitrogen.
Neon is used in discharge tubes, which is the reason behind the reddish-orange glow produced by neon light.
Xenon and krypton find their application in photographic flash units due to the production of very bright light. It is also used in lighthouses.
Neon, xenon and krypton are used to make different coloured lamps.
How were noble gases discovered?
Inert gases are invisible making them very difficult to detect when mixed with other gases in the air. In 1894, there was no reason to doubt their existence.
Sir William Ramsay conducted an interesting experiment that year. He wanted to see what happened when all gases got removed from the air. He passed air through the top of hot copper and hot magnesium. He hoped that ultimately nothing would be left. He argued that everything in the air would react with hot copper or hot magnesium. However, some gas got left at the end of the experiment. No matter how many times he repeated, he always had the same amount of gas left. He did a lot of experiments on the remaining gas and tried to react with something. He tried the most active substances, including fluorine, phosphorus, and potassium, but failed. So, he called it the new gas argon, which comes from the Greek word meaning lazy or inactive.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q1. The periodic table contains a number of noble and inert gases. How many noble and inert gases are there?
Ans: In the periodic table, there are six noble gases: helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon. Helium is the most abundant noble gas, followed by neon, argon, krypton, and radon. Under normal conditions, they are all odourless and colourless monotonic gases with low chemical reactions, and they are all flammable.
Q2. What is the origin of the term “noble gases”?
Ans: Noble gases are so named because they have no chemical reactions with anything else. As a result, they are sometimes referred to as inert gases.
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