Neon

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Neon (play /ˈnɒn/) is the chemical element that has the symbol Ne and an atomic number of 10. Although a very common element in the universe, it is rare on Earth. A colorless, inert noble gas under standard conditions, neon gives a distinct reddish-orange glow when used in discharge tubes and neon lamps and advertising signs.[5][6] It is commercially extracted from air, in which it is found in trace amounts.

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History

Neon (Greek νέον (neon) meaning "new one") was discovered in 1898 by the British chemists Sir William Ramsay (1852–1916) and Morris W. Travers (1872–1961) in London.[7] Neon was discovered when Ramsay chilled a sample of the atmosphere until it became a liquid, then warmed the liquid and captured the gases as they boiled off. The gases that boiled off, in addition to nitrogen, oxygen, and argon, were krypton, xenon, and neon.[8] The characteristic, brilliant red color that is emitted by gaseous neon when excited electrically was noted immediately; Travers later wrote, "the blaze of crimson light from the tube told its own story and was a sight to dwell upon and never forget."[9]

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