[He] 2s22p6
2, 8
−248.59°C, −415.46°F, 24.56 K
−246.046°C, −410.883°F, 27.104 K
Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers
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Uses and Properties

Image Explanation

Neon lighting is a type of lighting technology that utilizes neon gas to produce colorful and vibrant illumination. Neon lighting is often associated with eye-catching signs, decorative lighting, and artistic installations.


A colourless, odourless gas. Neon will not react with any other substance.


Neon: More Than Just Brilliant Lights

Neon, an element represented by the symbol Ne on the periodic table, is famous for its vibrant, colorful glow in the world of signage and lighting. Yet, its applications extend far beyond illuminating the night. Neon's unique properties make it an invaluable element in various scientific, industrial, and commercial domains. In this article, we will delve into the multifaceted uses of neon, from lighting up urban landscapes to enabling cutting-edge scientific research.


1. Neon Lights: An Iconic Urban Aesthetic

Perhaps the most well-known use of neon is in lighting, where its distinctive glow adds character and vibrancy to urban landscapes. Neon lights are commonly used in signs, billboards, and architectural accents, making cityscapes come alive with a rainbow of colors. Neon's remarkable ability to produce bright and colorful light has made it a design staple in entertainment districts, theaters, and urban signage.


2. Advertising and Branding: The Neon Advantage

Neon signs are not just about aesthetics; they are a powerful tool for advertising and branding. Businesses leverage neon signs to capture attention, convey their brand image, and create a distinctive visual identity. The unique and eye-catching qualities of neon lighting make it an invaluable marketing asset for storefronts, restaurants, and businesses looking to stand out.


3. Scientific Research: Neon as a Cryogenic Refrigerant

In the realm of scientific research, neon plays a critical role in cryogenics. Cryogenics involves working at extremely low temperatures, and neon is a key cryogenic refrigerant. Its low boiling point of -246.1 degrees Celsius (-411 degrees Fahrenheit) makes it an ideal choice for cooling scientific instruments, such as superconducting magnets in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines and particle accelerators.


4. Industrial Lasers: Precision and Accuracy

Neon gas lasers are used in various industrial applications. Neon's ability to emit a highly coherent and precise beam of light makes it valuable in laser technologies. These lasers find use in fields like materials processing, cutting, and welding, where precision and accuracy are paramount.


5. Detector Calibration: Nuclear Physics and Particle Detection

Neon is used in nuclear physics and particle detection experiments. Its properties make it suitable for calibration and testing of detectors in high-energy physics experiments. Neon's reliability in producing known spectral lines aids researchers in understanding the behavior of particles at the subatomic level.


6. Neon Signs in Art and Culture

Neon signs are not limited to advertising but have also found a place in the world of art and culture. Neon art installations have gained popularity in the contemporary art scene. Artists use neon's vibrant colors and adaptability to create captivating and immersive works that push the boundaries of artistic expression.


7. Vehicle Lighting: Efficiency and Longevity

Neon lighting is used in vehicle applications, particularly for accent lighting. Neon underglow lights have become a popular choice for car enthusiasts looking to enhance the appearance of their vehicles. Neon lights are known for their energy efficiency and longevity, making them a practical choice for automotive lighting.


8. Special Effects: Entertainment and Events

Neon lighting is a common choice for creating special effects in the entertainment industry. Concerts, festivals, and theatrical productions often incorporate neon lights to enhance the visual experience. The vibrant and dynamic nature of neon lighting adds a dramatic and immersive quality to live performances and events.


9. Helium-Neon Lasers: Precision Instruments

Helium-neon (He-Ne) lasers are a type of gas laser that combines helium and neon gases. These lasers are known for their high coherence and precise wavelength. They find applications in fields such as spectroscopy, interferometry, and optical communications, where accuracy and stability are crucial.


10. Noble Gas Discharge Tubes: Educational Tools

Neon is an essential component of noble gas discharge tubes used in educational settings. These tubes are used to demonstrate the principles of gas discharge and spectral emission. They are valuable tools in physics and chemistry education, helping students understand the behavior of gases under different conditions.


Neon's Radiant Versatility

While neon is most commonly associated with its role in creating captivating lights and signs, its applications span a wide range of industries and fields. From urban aesthetics and branding to cryogenic refrigeration and scientific research, neon's versatility and unique properties continue to make it an indispensable element in the modern world. Whether illuminating city streets, enabling scientific breakthroughs, or adding a touch of brilliance to the arts, neon stands as a testament to the diverse and remarkable uses of the elements that make up our world.

See next element of Noble Gas Family: Argon.


Neon, symbolized by the letter "Ne" on the periodic table, is an element that has captured the imagination of scientists, artists, and the public alike. Its unique and captivating properties, which result in the characteristic glow of neon lights, have made it an iconic symbol of urban landscapes and popular culture. Yet, the journey of neon from its discovery to its prominent role in modern lighting and beyond is a story worth exploring. In this article, we'll embark on a historical journey through the discovery and development of neon, shedding light on its fascinating evolution.


1. The Periodic Table Takes Shape

The 19th century witnessed a revolution in the understanding of chemical elements, thanks to the periodic table. Developed by Dmitri Mendeleev and other scientists, the periodic table organized elements by their properties, providing a framework for understanding the fundamental building blocks of matter.


2. The Gaseous Puzzle: Air, Atmosphere, and Missing Elements

Early experiments in the 18th century revealed that air was not a single, uniform substance. As scientists began isolating gases from the atmosphere, they encountered several mysteries. Nitrogen and oxygen were well-understood components of air, but the remaining gases remained a puzzle. This led to the realization that air contained various elements yet to be identified.


3. A Glimpse of Neon: Morris Travers' Discovery

Neon's journey began with the work of Sir William Ramsay and Morris W. Travers, British chemists who were instrumental in isolating and characterizing noble gases. Travers, in particular, played a significant role in the discovery of neon.

In 1898, Morris Travers was conducting experiments to isolate noble gases from liquid air. He successfully isolated a gas that emitted a distinct red-orange glow when an electrical discharge was passed through it. This new gas was identified as neon, derived from the Greek word "neos," meaning "new."


4. The Noble Gases: Neon Joins a Select Group

The discovery of neon marked the emergence of a new group of elements known as the noble gases. These elements, including helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon, shared the common property of being chemically inert and having low reactivity. This group of elements defied the traditional classifications of metals, nonmetals, and metalloids.


5. The Neon Light: A Bright Invention

The unique property of neon gas to emit a brilliant glow when exposed to an electrical discharge was soon recognized as an opportunity for a groundbreaking invention. It didn't take long for scientists and inventors to explore the potential of neon lights for illumination and signage.


6. Georges Claude's Contribution: Commercializing Neon Lighting

The commercial use of neon lighting took a significant step forward with the work of Georges Claude, a French engineer and inventor. Claude successfully applied for patents for neon lighting in 1910. He saw the potential of neon as a lighting source, and his company, Claude Neon Lights, began producing neon signs and lighting systems for commercial use.


7. Neon Signs: A Revolution in Urban Landscapes

Neon signs rapidly gained popularity, revolutionizing the visual aesthetics of urban landscapes. Businesses and advertisers recognized the captivating and attention-grabbing qualities of neon signage. Neon signs became synonymous with the bustling streets of the 20th century, adorning storefronts, theaters, and entertainment districts.


8. The Science Behind the Glow: How Neon Lights Work

The vibrant glow of neon lights is a result of the ionization of neon gas within a glass tube. When an electrical current passes through the gas, it excites the neon atoms, causing them to emit photons of light. The specific colors emitted depend on the gas and the properties of the glass tubing. Neon emits its distinctive red-orange glow, while other gases produce different colors.


9. Neon Beyond Signage: Art, Science, and Innovation

Neon lights have transcended their commercial applications and have become a prominent medium in art and culture. Artists and designers have harnessed the unique qualities of neon for creative expression, resulting in stunning neon art installations and sculptures. In the field of science, neon lasers and their precise, coherent light have found applications in fields like spectroscopy and interferometry.


10. Neon's Resilience: A Timeless Icon

Neon's timeless appeal endures to this day. It remains an iconic and beloved element of urban landscapes, contributing to the visual identity of cities and serving as a symbol of bustling metropolises. While other lighting technologies have emerged, neon's distinctive charm and luminance continue to captivate and inspire.


Neon's Brilliant Legacy

The journey of neon, from its discovery in the late 19th century to its prominent role in lighting and art, is a testament to the profound impact of scientific exploration and innovation. Neon's distinctive glow has not only illuminated our streets but also kindled our imagination and creativity. As a noble gas that defied the norm, neon stands as a shining example of how the pursuit of knowledge and the exploration of the elements can result in a brilliant and enduring legacy.

Atomic Data

Atomic Radiues, Non-bonded (A): 1.54
Electron Affinity (kJ mol-1): Not stable
Covalent Radiues (A): 0.62
Electronegativity (Pauling Scale): Unknown
Ionisation Energies (kJ mol-1) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
2080.662 3952.325 6121.99 9370.66 12177.41 15237.93 19999.086 23069.539

Oxidation States and Isotopes

Common oxidation states 1
Isotope Atomic Mass Natural Abundance Half Life Mode of Decay
20Ne 19.992 90.48 - -
21Ne 20.994 0.27 - -
22Ne 21.991 9.25 - -

Supply Risk

Relative Supply Risk: Unknown
Crustal Abundance (ppm): 0.005
Recycle Rate (%): Unknown
Production Conc.(%) : Unknown
Top 3 Producers:
Top 3 Reserve Holders:
Substitutability: Unknown
Political Stability of Top Producer: Unknown
Political Stability of Top Reserve Holder: Unknown

Pressure and Temperature Data

Specific Heat Capacity: 1030
Shear Modulus: Unknown
Young Modulus: Unknown
Bulk Modulus: Unknown
Pressure 400k Pressure 600k Pressure 800k Pressure 1000k Pressure 1200k Pressure 1400k Pressure 1600k Pressure 1800k Pressure 2000k Pressure 2200k Pressure 2400k
- - - - - - - - - - Unknown


Transcript :

In presence of an electrical charge, the noble gas Neon, emits a warm orange red light. It is indeed among the most eye-catching forms of lighting. The brightness and life of the neon lamp is determined by the amount of current used to excite the gas. The standard neon lamp has a lamp current of less than one milliamp. Other applications of neon are gaseous conduction lamps, lightning arrestors, and lightning detectors. This gas is used in a number of applications including plasma tube lighting, high-voltage indicators, and low-voltage neon glow lamps.

The first neon sign was constructed by George Claude. It was first shown at the Paris Motor Show in December 1910. This element was replaced in the 90s by LED modules. Neon is the second lightest noble gas after helium. It is also called the first element to form the true octet of electrons, which makes it not reacting with other substances. This element is not easily broken down into compounds, but it may perform a weak bond with a transition metal atom or fluorine.

Neon has a low thermal and electrical conductivity and is a good choice for a cryogenic refrigerant. It has a greater refrigerating capacity per volume than liquified Helium. Neon has 40 times the cooling capacity of liquid helium, and its latent heat of vaporization is three times that of hydrogen.

Its origins may be traced back to the dawn of the Industrial Revolutions. The history of neon goes back many centuries ago. In 1675, Jean Picard discovered that barometric light was produced by static electricity. Two hundred years later, electrical discharge tubes became a legitimate source of light.

The first commercial neon sign was lit in the year 1910. In the 1920s, neon was popular in Los Angeles. These signs required hundreds of tubes, thousands of switches, and miles of electrical cabling. Neon signs were all the rage among entrepreneurs in the early 20th century. They became the symbols of commerce and progress. They were seen on rooftops and business buildings, and people stopped to marvel at them. The story of neon begins with the discovery of noble gases. These gases were odorless, colorless, and non-metallic. They were also unwilling to bond with other atoms. These gases were isolated by Scottish chemist Sir William Ramsay, who won a Nobel Prize for his work. These noble gases were later named xenon, argon, and krypton. During the late 19th century, gas neon was discovered, but it was not harnessed for commercial application until 1898. These gases were trapped in glass tubes, and the atoms were zapped with an electric current to produce a glow discharge. When an electrical current was passed through these tubes, the resulting neon light glowed rich orange and red.

At the turn of the 20th century, neon was a game-changer in the advertising industry. Advertisements were made with neon signs that were shaped like letters and hoardings.

Neon is the fifth most abundant element in the universe and the second lightest noble gas. It occurs in trace amounts in the Earth's atmosphere. Scientists have theorized that the presence of neon may be useful in determining the cosmic exposure ages of meteorites.

Among the elements, the most abundant isotope of neon is the 20. This is generated by spallation reactions on aluminum or silicon. The higher Neon 21 and 22 ratios are found in uranium-rich rocks. It is usually extracted from liquid air by fractional distillation. This element is not abundant in the earth's atmosphere. Neon occurs in only 0.0018 percent. The atmosphere around the Earth contains trace quantities of it from time to time. In fact, it accounts for just 18 millionths of a part in our atmosphere.

Neon is odorless and non-reactive substance. Even though, it must be used with extreme caution because it is readily digested through living beings and has been capable of bringing about both drowsiness as well as deaths.

The solid-state structure of neon is a face-centered cubic crystal lattice. Several compounds of neon have been described, including clathrates, ionic molecules, and van der Waals forces.

The Allen electronegativity scale ranks neon as the most electronegative element. This is based on atomic energy measurements and the perfect octet.

Unlike other gases, neon does not form solid compounds. Due to the presence of this quality, it is an excellent option for a source of light. It is also devoid of any odor despite having a low density. Neon can also be formed into exotic compounds with halogens. Its atomic radius is 69 pm and atomic volume is 16.7 cm3/mol.

The first ionization energy of neon is 2080.7 KJ/mol. Its second ionization energy is 3952.3 KJ/mol. Its heat capacity ratio is close to one point sixty-six.

The third ionization energy of neon is 6122 KJ/mol. Its ionization energy is the most efficient of all. That's because its liquid spectrum is the shortest of any element.


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