Wikijunior:The Elements/Neon

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Shows the position of Neon on the periodic chart.
Neon's symbol on the Periodic Table

What does it look, feel, taste, or smell like?[edit]

Neon is a colorless, odorless gas at room temperature.

How was it discovered?[edit]

It was discovered by Scottish chemist William Ramsay and English chemist Morris Travers in 1898 in London, England.

Where did its name come from?[edit]

Neon gets its name from Greek neos, meaning "new".

Did You Know?

  • Neon is used in lighting.
  • Neon, when in a plasma state, emits a reddish-orange glow.

Where is it found?[edit]

Neon is a gas that is common in the universe but rare on Earth itself. Neon can be found in the earth's atmosphere, in small amounts. It is the fourth most common element in the atmosphere behind nitrogen, oxygen and argon. Because it is a noble, inert gas, it forms no compounds.

What are its uses?[edit]

Neon is used in lighting and some lasers. Below is an example of the characteristic reddish-orange glow emitted by Neon plasma.

A lighted sign containing neon


Is it dangerous?[edit]

No. Neon is an inert gas. It is odorless, and has no effects. Neon lights do get hot, though, so you can burn yourself by touching them. Also, breathing in pure neon gas can cause suffocation because it contains no oxygen, which is what your cells need to produce energy.