Xenon Tube
The location of xenon





Group, Period

18, 5

Electrons per shell

2, 8, 18, 18, 8


"Sir" William Ramsay, and Morris Travers

Date discovered

July 12, 1898

Location discovered


Atomic Weight



Noble Gas

Xenon is an element with the symbol Xe. The atomic number of this element is 54. As a colorless, oderless noble gas, xenon is in the earth's atmosphere in small amounts. Xenon, generally unreactive, can undergo some chemical reactions, such as xenon hexafluoroplatinate, the first noble gas compound synthesized.

There are nine stable isotopes, and over 40 unstable isotopes of xenon.

Xenon is commonly used in flash lamps, and arc lamps, and a general anesthetic.

History Edit

This element was discovered in England by Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers in 1898, shortly after the discoveries of krypton and neon. The two found it in residue from evaporating air.

Naming Edit

Ramsay suggested to name the element xenon, from the Greek word ξένον meaning foreigner, stanger, or guest.

Inventions and discoveries Edit

In the 1930s, Harold Edgerton explored strobe light technology, for high speed photography. This led to the invention of the xenon flash lamp.

In 1939, Albert R. Behnke Jr. started exploring "drunkenness" in divers. He tested the effects by varying the breathing mixes on his subjects, and discovered that this caused divers to perceive change in depth. He then created an anesthetic with this gas.


Xenon flash

In 1960, John Reynolds discovered that certain meteorites had contained isotopic anomoly with an overabundance of xenon -129.Xenon

Flashtubes with xenon were also created in the 21st century.

Occurence and production Edit

Xenon is a trace gas in Earth's atmosphere, with only 0.087±0.001 parts per million, and is also found in some gases created through mineral springs. Some radioactive isotopes of xenon, such as 133Xe, and 135Xe are created through neutron irridiation of fissionable material in nuclear reactors.

Xenon is also obtained commercially through seperation of air.