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Xenon Facts

Chemical & Physical Properties

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Xenon is a colorless gas, but it emits a blue glow when excited by an electrical discharge.

Xenon normally is a colorless gas, but it emits a blue glow when excited by an electrical discharge, as seen here.

pslawinski, wikipedia.org This is the electron configuration of a xenon atom.

This is the electron configuration of a xenon atom.

This is xenon on the periodic table.

This is xenon on the periodic table.

Todd Helmenstine
Periodic Table of the Elements

Xenon

Atomic Number: 54

Symbol: Xe

Atomic Weight: 131.29

Discovery: Sir William Ramsay; M. W. Travers, 1898 (England)

Electron Configuration: [Kr] 5s2 4d10 5p6

Word Origin: Greek xenon, stranger; xenos, strange

Isotopes: Natural xenon consists of a mixture of nine stable isotopes. An additional 20 unstable isotopes have been identified.

Properties: Xenon is a noble or inert gas. However, xenon and other zero valance elements do form compounds. Although xenon is not toxic, its compounds are highly toxic due to their strong oxidizing characteristics. Some xenon compounds are colored. Metallic xenon has been produced. Excited xenon in a vacuum tube glows blue. Xenon is one of the heaviest gases; one liter of xenon weighs 5.842 grams.

Uses: Xenon gas is used in electron tubes, bactericidal lamps, stobe lamps, and lamps used to excite ruby lasers. Xenon is used in applications where a high molecular weight gas is needed. The perxenates are used in analytical chemistry as oxidizing agents. Xenon-133 is useful as a radioisotope.

Sources: Xenon is found in the atmosphere at levels of approximately one part in twenty million. It is commercially obtained by extraction from liquid air. Xenon-133 and xenon-135 are produced by neutron irradiation in air cooled nuclear reactors.

Element Classification: Inert Gas

Density (g/cc): 3.52 (@ -109°C)

Melting Point (K): 161.3

Boiling Point (K): 166.1

Appearance: heavy, colorless, odorless noble gas

Atomic Volume (cc/mol): 42.9

Covalent Radius (pm): 131

Specific Heat (@20°C J/g mol): 0.158

Evaporation Heat (kJ/mol): 12.65

Pauling Negativity Number: 0.0

First Ionizing Energy (kJ/mol): 1170.0

Oxidation States: 7

Lattice Structure: Face-Centered Cubic

Lattice Constant (Å): 6.200

 

References: Los Alamos National Laboratory (2001), Crescent Chemical Company (2001), Lange's Handbook of Chemistry (1952), CRC Handbook of Chemistry & Physics (18th Ed.)

 

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