Did you know that Sir William Ramsay was born today in 1852? He was one of the chemists that discovered noble gases. A noble gas is also called an ‘inert gas’, they do not change or respond in chemical reactions, except in extreme circumstances. In 1904, he and his colleague Lord Rayleigh, were awarded the Nobel prize in Physics for finding this new type of element. A new section of the periodic table was created for the noble gases he separated and identified.
We hope that you have a “noble” day at school today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
Sir William Ramsay isolated argon, helium, neon, krypton, xenon, and radon. He also isolated helium, which had been observed on the Sun, but not previously on Earth.
The noble gases are colorless, odorless, and are monoatomic in standard conditions. The naturally occurring noble gases are: helium (He), neon (Ne), argon (Ar), krypton (Kr), xenon (Xe), and the radioactive radon (Rn). Oganesson (Og) is sometimes included, but is under further investigations.
In 1894 Lord Rayleigh noticed that there was a difference between nitrogen gas created from chemical synthesis and nitrogen isolated by removing other known elements (such as oxygen) from air. Working from this, Ramsay was able to isolate an unknown component of air. He found that this component was inert. He called it ‘argon’, after the Greek word for ‘lazy’.