Neon – The most ‘colourful’ of all gases


Commonly known as a fill gas for colourful neon signs, neon gas fulfils a whole range of other uses and applications.

“I smelled Los Angeles before I got to it. It smelled stale and old like a living room that had been closed too long. But the coloured lights fooled you. The lights were wonderful. There ought to be a monument to the man who invented neon lights. Fifteen stories high, solid marble. There is a boy who really made something out of nothing.” Raymond Chandler, The Little Sister

Neon, which mean ‘New one’ in Greek, was discovered in 1898 by Scottish chemist Sir William Ramsay and English chemist Morris in London, UK.

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 three gases that boiled off were krypton, xenon and neon.

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