Argon Facts

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Argon is an element and a  noble gas, difficult to make into and keep as a liquid.  Saying something is a "Noble Gas" means that it is almost always a vapor, "stands alone" and mixes with very little else, and was considered similar to the metals used by nobility, gold and silver!  It has a very low level of reactivity with other chemicals, so does not readily form compounds.  This limits its use in industry.  Most noble gases are rare in nature, but Argon comprises almost 1% of the Earth's atmosphere.  Are there other interesting facts about Argon?  Let's look and see.

According to the website, the molecular weight of Argon is 18 and it is in Group 18 on the Periodic Table, not sure about that making it interesting, but it does make it easy to remember.  You will also find out it was discovered by a Scotsman, Sir William Ramsey and the Baron of Rayleigh in 1894.  You will also find out that the freezing point and melting point are less than 5 degrees apart, and at minus 185.7 C.

The British produce a fact sheet about Argon that will tell you much of this and that the word comes from the Greek word Argos, which means "inactive".  It is interesting to note that this site lists the only uses being for electric light bulbs and fluorescent tubes (When excited by an electrical current, Argon turns Sky Blue!) , and leaves out welding, some chemical layers for helping reactions and growing crystals, and the Argon laser.

One school child set up an excellent website about Argon and the more interesting facts, and even included a poem!  It is exceptionally well done in a very entertaining and informative way that should be excellent for teaching young (and old) students alike.  I hope Teacher Bova gave them their "A", they deserve it!

If you want to learn how to produce Argon, you can go to the Praxair Website.  It seems Argon is produced while separating out Oxygen and Nitrogen.  They then add back hydrogen to the oxygen section, ignite it and the hydrogen binds with the oxygen to produce water.  Argon, being inert, is left!

Argon, one ofthe elements in the atmosphere, but since it is inert it is not one that does much, and now you know the facts about it!

More about this author: James Johnson

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