Neon (Ne)

Neon gas purity 99,999%

Name                                       Neon
Symbol                                    Ne
Atomic number                       10
Molecular weight                    20,1796(6) g/m
Group number                        18
Group name                            Rare gases
CAS registry ID                       7440-01-9
UN number                              UN 1065

History & Occurrence

Neon (from the Greek word νέος, meaning “new”) was discovered by Scottish chemist William Ramsay and English chemist Morris Travers in 1898, during their studies of liquefied air. Neon is the fourth most abundant element in the universe. In the Earth’s atmosphere, however, it occurs in only trace amounts—at 1 part in 65,000. It is industrially produced by cryogenic fractional distillation of liquefied air.

Applications

The reddish-orange color that neon emits in neon lamps is widely used for advertising signs. The word “neon” has become a generic term for these types of lights, although many other gases are used to produce different colors of light.
Neon and helium may be used together to make a type of gas laser called a helium-neon laser. In addition, liquefied neon is commercially used as a cryogenic refrigerant in applications not requiring the lower temperature range attainable with liquid helium, which is more expensive.
Neon is also used in the following devices:

  • high-voltage indicators
  • vacuum tubes
  • lightning arrestors
  • wave meter tubes