Inert gasses

The stable inert gasses are helium, neon, argon, krypton and xenon. These gases are very inert and up to now, there are no known compounds of helium, neon and argon, which can exist in macroscopic quantities at normal temperatures. Krypton and xenon also are very inert, but some compounds are known. A very unstable krypton fluoride was prepared and several xenon compounds can be produced, being oxo-compounds and fluorides.

From the point of view of the chemistry hobbyist these gases are not interesting. They are quite interesting, however, when they are used in gas-discharge tubes. At low pressure, these gases can fairly easily be ionized and a cold plasma can be produced, by applying a few kV of potential difference between two electrodes, which are in a tube, containing the gas at low pressure. Below follow five pictures of gas discharges for helium, neon, argon krypton and xenon.

He    Ne

Ar    Kr



Compounds of xenon might be interesting as strong oxidizers, but these are not accessible for the public.




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