The noble gases are a chemical series. They are the elements in group 18 (old-style Group 0) of the periodic table of elements; specifically they are helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon.
Helium was first detected in 1868 by the French astronomer Pierre Janssen, as a bright yellow line in the spectrum of the chromosphere of the sun during a solar eclipse in India. In the same year, the English astronomer, Norman Lockyer, also observed a previously unknown yellow line in the solar spectrum and concluded that it was caused by an element unknown on earth. Lockyer and the British chemist Edward Frankland gave the element the name helium, after the Greek word for the sun, which is helios. In 1895, the British chemist William Ramsay isolated helium on earth by treating cleveite with mineral acids. These samples were identified as helium by Lockyer and the British physicist William Crookes. In the same year it was independently isolated from cleveite by the Swedish chemists Per Teodor Cleve and Nils Langlet.
In 1905, the American chemists, Hamilton Cady and David McFarland, discovered that helium could be extracted from natural gas. In 1907, Ernest Rutherford and Thomas Royds demonstrated that an alpha particle is a helium nucleus. Helium was first liquefied in 1908 by the Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, by cooling the gas to less than one kelvin. It was first solidified in 1926 by his student, Willem Hendrik Keesom. In 1938, the Russian physicist Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, discovered that helium-4 has almost no viscosity at temperatures near absolute zero, a phenomenon now called superfluidity. In 1972, the same phenomenon was observed in helium-3 by the American physicists, Douglas D. Osheroff, David M. Lee, and Robert C. Richardson.
Helium, one of the noble gases of the periodic table of elements, is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Its boiling and melting points are the lowest among the elements. Except in extreme conditions, it exists only as a gas. Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe and significant amounts are found on earth only in natural gas.
Neon is the second lightest noble gas. It glows reddish-orange in a vacuum discharge tube and it has over 40 times the refrigerating capacity of liquid helium and three times that of liquid hydrogen (on a per unit volume basis). In most applications it is a less expensive refrigerant than helium. Neon has the most intense discharge at normal voltages and currents of all the rare gases.
Argon is 2.5 times as soluble in water as nitrogen which is approximately the same solubility as oxygen. This chemically inert element is colorless and odorless in both its liquid and gaseous forms. There are no known true chemical compounds that contain argon. The creation of argon hydroflouride (HArF) was reported by researchers at the University of Helsinki in 2000. A highly unstable compound with fluorine has been reported but not yet proven. Although no chemical compounds of argon are presently confirmed, argon can form clathrates with water when its atoms are trapped in a lattice of the water molecules.
Krypton, a so-called noble gas due to its very low chemical reactivity, is characterized by a brilliant green and orange spectral signature. It is one of the products of uranium fission. Solidified krypton is white and crystalline with a face-centered cubic crystal structure which is a common property of all "rare gases."
Xenon is a member of the zero-valence elements that are called noble or inert gases. The word "inert" is no longer used to describe this chemical series since some zero valence elements do form compounds. In a tube filled with gas, xenon emits a beautiful bleu glow when the gas is excited by electrical discharge. Using several hundred kilobars of pressure metallic xenon has been made. Xenon can also form clathrates with water when atoms of it are trapped in a lattice of the water molecules.
Helium / Neon Laser Gas Mixtures
Stable laser mixtures with Helium-3/Neon components. Full analysis of each mixture ensures the isotopic ratios and chemical analysis
Note: All gas mixes are provided with analytical data confirming mix component ratios, isotopes and chemical purities.