<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

The elements

The Group 18 elements have a particular name Noble gases. Noble gas is translated from the German noun Edelgas , first used in 1898 by Hugo Erdmann (1862 - 1910) to indicate their extremely low level of reactivity. The noble gases were often also called the inert gases , however, since noble gas compounds are now known this name is no longer used. [link] lists the derivation of the names of the Noble gases.

Derivation of the names of each of the Group 18(VIII) elements.
Element Symbol Name
Helium He Greek helios meaning the Sun
Neon Ne From the Greek meaning new one
Argon Ar From the Greek meaning inactive
Krypton Kr From the Greek kryptos meaning the hidden one
Xenon Xe From the Greek xenos], meaning foreigner , stranger , or guest
Radon Rn From its radioactive nature



The first evidence of helium was the observation by astronomer Pierre Janssen ( [link] ) on August 18, 1868 as a bright yellow line with a wavelength of 587.49 nm in the spectrum of the chromosphere of the Sun. On October 20 of the same year, English astronomer Norman Lockyer ( [link] ) observed a yellow line in the solar spectrum, which he named the D3 Fraunhofer line because it was near the known D1 and D2 lines of sodium. He concluded that it was caused by an element in the Sun unknown on Earth. Lockyer and Edward Frankland ( [link] ) named the element with the Greek word for the Sun, helios .

Portrait of French astronomer Pierre Jules César Janssen (1824 - 1907).
English scientist and astronomer Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer, FRS (1836 - 1920).
English chemist Sir Edward Frankland, KCB, FRS (1825 - 1899).

On March 26, 1895 British chemist Sir William Ramsay ( [link] ) isolated helium on Earth by treating the mineral cleveite (a radioactive mineral containing uranium and found in Norway) with mineral acids.

Scottish chemist Sir William Ramsay, KCB FRSE (1852 - 1916).


Neon was discovered in 1898 by Sir William Ramsay ( [link] ) and Morris Travers ( [link] ). When Ramsay chilled a sample of air until it became a liquid, then warmed the liquid and captured the gases as they boiled off. After nitrogen, oxygen, and argon, the three gases that boiled off were krypton, xenon, and neon.

English chemist and founding director of the Indian Institute of Science, Morris William Travers (1872 - 1961).


In 1785 Henry Cavendish ( [link] ) suspected that argon was present in air but it was not isolated until 1894 by Lord Rayleigh ( [link] ) and Sir William Ramsay ( [link] ) in an experiment in which they removed all of the oxygen, carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen from a sample of clean air.

British scientist Henry Cavendish FRS (1731 - 1810).
English physicist John William Strutt, 3 rd Baron Rayleigh, OM (1842 - 1919).


Krypton was discovered in 1898 by Sir William Ramsay ( [link] ) and Morris Travers ( [link] ) in residue left from evaporating nearly all components of liquid air.

In 1960, an international agreement defined the meter (m) in terms of wavelength of light emitted by the 86 Kr isotope (wavelength of 605.78 nm). This agreement replaced the standard meter located in Paris, which was a metal bar made of a Pt-Ir alloy, and was itself replaced by a definition based on the speed of light, a fundamental physical constant. In October 1983, the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures defined the meter as the distance that light travels in a vacuum during 1 / 299,792,458 s.

Questions & Answers

what is math number
Tric Reply
x-2y+3z=-3 2x-y+z=7 -x+3y-z=6
Sidiki Reply
Need help solving this problem (2/7)^-2
Simone Reply
what is the coefficient of -4×
Mehri Reply
the operation * is x * y =x + y/ 1+(x × y) show if the operation is commutative if x × y is not equal to -1
Alfred Reply
An investment account was opened with an initial deposit of $9,600 and earns 7.4% interest, compounded continuously. How much will the account be worth after 15 years?
Kala Reply
lim x to infinity e^1-e^-1/log(1+x)
given eccentricity and a point find the equiation
Moses Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
Alexandra Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
College algebra is really hard?
Shirleen Reply
Absolutely, for me. My problems with math started in First grade...involving a nun Sister Anastasia, bad vision, talking & getting expelled from Catholic school. When it comes to math I just can't focus and all I can hear is our family silverware banging and clanging on the pink Formica table.
I'm 13 and I understand it great
I am 1 year old but I can do it! 1+1=2 proof very hard for me though.
Not really they are just easy concepts which can be understood if you have great basics. I am 14 I understood them easily.
hi vedant can u help me with some assignments
find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
Jerwin Reply
I know this work
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
hmm well what is the answer
If f(x) = x-2 then, f(3) when 5f(x+1) 5((3-2)+1) 5(1+1) 5(2) 10
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
make 5/4 into a mixed number, make that a decimal, and then multiply 32 by the decimal 5/4 turns out to be
can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
I got X =-6
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
oops. ignore that.
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
is it a question of log
I rally confuse this number And equations too I need exactly help
But this is not salma it's Faiza live in lousvile Ky I garbage this so I am going collage with JCTC that the of the collage thank you my friends
Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
im all ears I need to learn
right! what he said ⤴⤴⤴
greetings from Iran
salut. from Algeria
A soccer field is a rectangle 130 meters wide and 110 meters long. The coach asks players to run from one corner to the other corner diagonally across. What is that distance, to the nearest tenths place.
Kimberly Reply
Jeannette has $5 and $10 bills in her wallet. The number of fives is three more than six times the number of tens. Let t represent the number of tens. Write an expression for the number of fives.
August Reply
What is the expressiin for seven less than four times the number of nickels
Leonardo Reply
How do i figure this problem out.
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
why surface tension is zero at critical temperature
I think if critical temperature denote high temperature then a liquid stats boils that time the water stats to evaporate so some moles of h2o to up and due to high temp the bonding break they have low density so it can be a reason
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
waht is hydrating power of lithium carbonates
Mahar Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry of the main group elements. OpenStax CNX. Aug 20, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11124/1.25
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Chemistry of the main group elements' conversation and receive update notifications?