We are all about Neon here at Neon Mama, new-age LED Neon that is. However, we have in the following compiled some fun facts about true neon gas that is used in traditional neon signs.
Neon Gas Was Discovered in 1898
In 1898 the Neon gas was discovered at University College London by two British scientists, Sir William Ramsay and Morris W. Travers. They had the knowledge that there must be elements on the periodic table between helium and argon, so they conducted research about liquid air.
Cooling air until it became a liquid, they then warmed the liquid and collected the gases that boiled off. This was the method they employed to discover new elements. During this research and experimentation William Ramsay and Morris Travers discovered not one, but three new gases: krypton, neon, and xenon.
These three gases are left over when nitrogen, oxygen, argon, and carbon dioxide are removed from air. Sir William Ramsay and Morris W. Travers had made a very important discovery and probably didn't know how important Neon would become.
Neon is Found in the Stars
Neon is created during the alpha process of stars, which is when helium and oxygen are fused together. However, without an electrical current, neon remains colorless. Therefore do not expect to look up to a Neon sky at night time.
Neon exists in Every Home
In the average home in the USA, there are approximately 10 liters of Neon Gas present!
Neon is Both An Abundant Element In the Universe and Rare
Neon is the fifth most abundant element in the Universe. It is the most abundant gas after hydrogen, helium, oxygen, and carbon. However, in the Earth's atmosphere Neon is a particularly rare gas making up 0.0018% of the atmosphere.
Many Signs We Think Of as Neon Aren't True Neon at all!
True Neon actually only glows a reddish-orange in a vacuum. Signs of any other color are not true neon and are made up of other noble gasses or are a form of colored fluorescent lighting.
Neon Light can Penetrate Fog
Whilst other lights can not pass through fog Neon light cannot be obscured by it. The neon light is for this reason used by and is very important to airports in cold areas.
Neon Is Used In TV Sets & Lasers
Neon has many everyday applications. Neon is used not only in advertising signs but also for vacuum tubes, television tubes, plasma tubes, and helium-neon lasers, high-voltage indicators.
So Neon is not only found in the neon signs of the Las Vegas Strip, but also in your home!
Neon Is Very Expensive When Compared to Other Elements
Due to its rarity in our Earth's atmosphere neon is expensive in both gas and liquid form. Being recovered from the air, liquid neon is some 55 times more expensive than liquid helium.
However, despite this rarity and subsequent high cost, neon is widely used in the world.
Neon Is Used as a Cryogenic to Freeze Dead Bodies
Cryonics is the freezing of corpses at extremely low temperatures in the hope that the perfectly preserved bodies will one day be revived with the use of future advanced technologies.
Liquid neon is used for this as the refrigeration capacity of neon is three times that of liquid hydrogen and 40 times that of liquid helium.
Neon Can Be Hazardous to Humans
Neon can actually cause frostbite when it comes into contact with the skin. Neon is also an asphyxiant gas, meaning that if inhaled it depletes the amount of oxygen in your body leading to suffocation and potentially death.
Neon Lights were Invented as Early as 1902
Georges Claude, a French engineer invented Neon lights in approx 1902. He owned an air liquefaction company and used the excess neon gases in glass tubes to create light by passing an electrical current through them.
He unveiled this as a source of light at the 1910 Paris Motor show, intending people to use it in their homes as a source of light it never took off due to the bright reddish-orange color given out by the neon in a vacuum tube.
Instead, this lighting source eventually began to be used in neon advertising signs from 1912 onwards.
This technology was introduced to the US in 1923 when a Los Angeles Packard dealership erected two large neon sign, the rest is history!
No Neon Compounds
Due to its relative inertness, neon does not form any known stable compounds in nature. Under certain laboratory conditions, neon can form a compound with fluorine Each neon atom has 10 protons. There are three stable isotopes.
The group known as Nobel gases is made up of neon, helium, krypton, xenon, and argon. These are the most stable and least reactive elements due to having the max number of electrons in their outer shells.
All noble gases conduct electricity and light up when a current runs through them. Neon is the second lightest of the noble gases. At room temperature and pressure, neon is a colorless, odorless substance.
The name of the element comes from the Greek word "novum" or "neos," which means "new."
Element Symbol & Atomic Number
In the periodic table neon is a chemical element with the symbol Ne and atomic number 10. Neon atoms have 10 electrons and no net electrical charge.
Neon has a melting point: minus 415 46 f (minus 248.59 degrees Celsius). The boiling point of neon is minus 410.94 degrees F (minus 246.08 degrees C)
The fun facts above give information about noble gases and in particular neon facts. Neon is a type of element that can be found in the Periodic Table. It has many different uses and is a very important chemical element.
The element neon as one noble gas is most commonly known for reddish-orange neon signs. However, the gas has many other uses as having been detailed in this fun facts list.
Neon lighting is of course where our heart is at. We offer a huge range of modern neon lighting. While our neon lights may not use a noble gas element in their construction they are the modern alternative. Super bright, and super efficient by comparison to traditional neon.