A rare, inert gas, krypton was first discovered in 1898 by Scottish chemist William Ramsay and English chemist Morris Travers during experiments with liquefied air.
Having already discovered the other noble gases helium, neon and argon, they suspected that there might be other noble gases in the air and began to isolate them by liquefying air and then slowly evaporating it, collecting different components at different temperatures.
During this process, the scientists discovered krypton as a minor component of the air. Reflecting its elusive nature, the name ‘krypton’ comes from the Greek word ‘kryptos’ which means ‘hidden’ or ‘concealed’. Colourless, odourless, and tasteless, krypton is not only the densest of all the noble gases, but it also has a higher boiling and melting point – characteristics that aid in its production.
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