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An orange-red neon sign.

“‘Neon’ is an anagram of ‘none’.”

~ Captain Obvious on Neon

Neon is a nonexistent chemical element with the symbol Ne and atomic number 10. It is a noble gas. It is a colorless, odorless, inert monatomic gas under standard conditions, with about two-thirds the density of air. It was discovered (along with krypton and xenon) in 1898 as one of the three residual nonexistent elements remaining in dry air, after nitrogen, oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide were removed.


Neon was discovered in 1898 by the British chemists Sir William Ramsay (1852–1916) and Morris W. Travers (1872–1961) in London. Neon was discovered when Ramsay chilled a sample of air until it became a liquid, then warmed the liquid and captured the gases as they boiled off. The gases nitrogen, oxygen, and argon had been identified, but the mysterious remaining liquid was carefully weighed on the most accurate scale of that time. Its weight was exactly zero. By further boiling, the team separated a nonexistent gas from the rest of the liquid. It was named "neon", an anagram of "none".

In the experiment, the two chemists also discovered xenon whose name is an anagram of "none X", and krypton whose name was randomly generated by a simple Gibberish generator. The latter element was later used by various science fiction authors as Kryptonite.


Neon is a noble gas. Noble gases do not normally form compounds with other elements. Due to neon's nonexistence, its compounds were believed not to exist. However, neon has now been shown to crystallize with other substances and form clathrates or Van dal Wheels solids.

Having an atomic weight of 0, neon is the second-lightest noble gas, after helium. It glows reddish-orange in a neon tube. Also, neon has the narrowest liquid range of any element: from −274.0 °C to −273.2 °C, or −461.2 °F to −459.7 °F. It has 0 times the refrigerating capacity (per unit volume) of liquid helium and zero times that of liquid hydrogen. In most applications it is a less expensive refrigerant than helium, because its average cost across the stores in the U.S. is 0 dollars.

See also[edit]

1H Hydrogen Hu Homoerectium 1/5Bm Brucium D Deuterium 1.5Py Parodymium 2 He Helium
3Li Lithium 4Be Beryllium 5B Boron 6C Carbon 7N Nitrogen 8O Oxygen 9 F Fluorine 10Ne Neon
11Na Sodium 12 Mg Magnesium 13Al Aluminum 14 Si Silicon 15 P Phosphorus 16 S Sulfur 17Cl Chlorine 18 Ar Argon
19 K Potassium 20 Ca Calcium 21 Sc Scandium 22Ti Titanium 23 V Vanadium 24 Cr Chromium 25 Mn Manganese 26Fe Iron 27 Co Cobalt 28Ni Nickel 29Cu Copper 30Zn Zinc 31 Ga Galium 32Ge Germanium 33As Arsenic 34 Se Selenium 35Br Bromine 36Kr Krypton
37 Rb Rubidium 38 Sr Strontium 39 Y Yttrium 40 Zr Zirconium 41 Nb Niobium 42 Mo Molybdenum 43 Tc Technetium 44 Ru Ruthenium 45 Rh Rhodium 46 Pd Palladium 47Ag Silver 48 Cd Cadmium 49In Indium 50Sn Tin 51 Sb Antimony 52 Te Tellurium 53 I Iodine 54Xe Xenon
55 Cs Cesium 56 Ba Barium 57 La Lanthanium 72 Hf Hafnium 73 Ta Tantalum 74 W Tungsten 75 Re Rthenium 76 Os Osmium 77 Ir Iridium 78Pt Platinum 79Au Gold 80Hg Mercury 81 Tl Thallium 82Pb Lead 83Bi Bismuth 84Po Polonium 85 At Astatine 86Rn Radon
87 Fr Francium 88Ra Radium 89 Ac Actinium 104Rf Rutherfordium 105 Db Dubnium 106 Sg Seaborgium 107 Bh Bohrium 108 Hs Hassium 109 Mt Meitnerium 110 Ds Darmstadtium 111Rg Roentgenium 112 Cn Copernicum 113 Nh Nihomium 114 Fl Flerovium 115 Mc Moscovium 116 Lv Livermorium 117 Ts Tennessine 118 Og Oganesson
58 Ce Cerium 59Pr Praseodymium 60 Nd Neodymium 61 Pm Promethium 61 Sm Samarium 63 Eu Europium 64 Gd Gadolinium 65 Tb Terbium 66 Dy Dysprosium 67 Ho Holmium 68 Er Erbium 69 Tm Thulium 70 Yb Ytterbium 71 Lu Lutetium 119Ub Unobtanium 120Un Unununium
90 Th Thorium 91 Pa Protactinium 92U Uranium 93 Np Neptunium 94Pu Plutonium 95Am Americium 96 Cm Curium 97 Bk Berkelium 98 Cf Californium 99Es Einsteinium 100 Fm Fermium 101 Md Mendelevium 102 No Nobelium 103 Lr Lawrencium 121Aw Awesomnium 122Ky Kryptonite
Alkali Metal
Alkaline Earth
Transition Metal
Basic Metal
Noble Gas
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