Xenon. Chemical element of the periodic table discovered in the year 1898 , whose symbol is Xe and its atomic number 54. Odorless , very heavy, colorless noble gas , is present in the Earth ‘s atmosphere only in traces and was part of the first noble gas compound synthesized.


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  • 1 Main or particular characteristics
  • 2 Applications
    • 1 Other uses
  • 3 History
  • 4 Abundance and obtaining
  • 5 Compounds
  • 6 Isotopes
  • 7 Medicine
  • 8 Precautions
  • 9 Reference
  • 10 Bibliography
  • 11 Source

Main or particular characteristics

It is a member of the zero valence elements called noble or inert regases. The word “inert” is no longer used to describe this chemical series , since some elements of zero valence form compounds. In a tube filled with Xenon gas , a blue glow is emitted when excited by an electric shock . Metallic xenon has been obtained by applying pressures of several hundred kilobars. It can also form clathrates with water when its atoms become trapped in a lattice of oxygen molecules .


The main and most famous use of this gas is in the manufacture of emitting devices light , such as lamps bactericides, electronic tubes, strobe lights and flashes photographic and lamps used for driving lasers of ruby , which generated this way coherent light.

Other uses

  • As an anesthetic in general anesthesia.
  • In nuclear facilities, it is used in bubble chambers, probes, and in other areas where high molecular weight is a desirable quality.
  • Perxenates are used as oxidizing agents in analytical chemistry.
  • The Xe-133 isotopeis used as a radioisotope.
  • It is used in carheadlights .
  • Xenon lamps are widely used in movieprojectors .
  • Ionic propulsion gasfor satellites .


Xenon (ξενόν, which in Greek means “strange”) was discovered by William Ramsay and Morris Travers in 1898 in the residues obtained by evaporating the components of liquid air .

William Ramsay

Abundance and obtaining

It is found in traces in the Earth ‘s atmosphere , appearing in one part by twenty million. The element is obtained commercially by extracting the residues from the liquefied air . This noble gas is naturally found in gases emitted by some natural springs . The Xe-133 and Xe-135 isotopes are synthesized by neutron irradiation in air-cooled nuclear reactors.


Before 1962 , Xenon and the other noble gases were considered chemically inert and unable to form compounds. Since then it has been proven that together with other noble gases, they do form compounds. Some of the Xenon compounds are: difluorine , hexafluoride , sodium perxenate , terafluoride , xenon deuteride , and xenon hydroxide . Xenon trioxide , a highly explosive compound, has also been obtained . At least 80 compounds are known in which it binds with fluorine or oxygen . Most of these compounds are colorless.


In nature , the xenon is in seven isotopes stable and two slightly radioactive. In addition to these stable forms, 20 additional unstable isotopes have been studied. Xe-129 is produced by beta emission from I-129 (half-life: 16 million years ); the Xe-131, Xe-132, Xe-134 and Xe-136 isotopes are fission products of both U-238 and Pu-244. As Xenon is a tracer with two parent isotopes, measuring Xenon isotopes in meteorites turns out to be a powerful tool for studying the formation of the Solar System . The I-Xe method of radiometric dating allows calculating the timeelapsed between nucleosynthesis and condensation of a solid object from the solar nebula . Xenon isotopes are also useful for understanding terrestrial differentiation. The excess Xe-129 found in gaseous carbon dioxide fumes in New Mexico is believed to be due to the decay of mantle-derived gases shortly after the formation of Earth .


It was first identified as an anesthetic in 1951 . Its use is not approved in the United States , being unlikely to become more widely used because it is a rare gas that cannot be manufactured and must be extracted from the air , making it a fairly expensive drug . Despite this, it has characteristics close to that of a virtually ideal anesthetic gas, which can be used in critical situations.

It is highly insoluble in blood and body tissues , allowing rapid induction and subsequent recovery. It is powerful enough to generate surgical anesthesia when administered with 30% oxygen . It presents minimal adverse effects.


The gas can be stored safely in conventional containers of glass sealed at temperature and pressure environments. It is not toxic, but several of its compounds are highly toxic due to its strong oxidation properties . This gas produces an opposite effect to Helium and when inhaled it makes your voice lower.


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