|Name: xenon||Group number: 18|
|Symbol: Xe||Group name: Noble gas|
|Atomic number: 54||Period number: 5|
|Atomic weight: 131.293 (6) g||Block: p-block|
|CAS Registry ID: 7440-63-3||Voice: |
|Standard state: gas at 298 K||Colour: colourless|
|Classification: Non-metallic||Availability: |
Image adapted with permission from Prof James Marshall"s (U. North Texas, USA) Walking Tour of the elements CD.
Xenon is a "noble" or "inert" gas present in the atmosphere to a small extent. Xenon is present in the Martian atmosphere to the extent of about 0.08 ppm. Before 1962, it was generally assumed that xenon and other noble gases were unable to form compounds. Among the compounds of xenon now reported are xenon hydrate, sodium perxenate, xenon deuterate, difluoride, tetrafluoride, hexafluoride, and XePtF6 and XeRhF6. The highly explosive xenon trioxide, XeO3, is known.
Metallic xenon is produced by applying several hundred kilobars of pressure. Xenon in a vacuum tube produces a blue glow when excited by an electrical discharge and finds use in strobe lamps. It is an odourless, colourless, inert gas.
IsolationHere is a brief summary of the isolation of xenon.
Xenon is present to a small extent in the atmosphere (less than 1 ppm by volume) and is obtained as a byproduct from the liquefaction and separation of air. This would not normally be carried out in the laboratory and xenon is available commercially in cylinders at high pressure.