Group 0 The Noble Gases
Imagine a group in the Periodic Table that has hardly any chemical reactions to remember. 'Great!' you might say. Well here
it is the last group in the Periodic Table, Group 0 (sometimes referred to as Group 8) the noble gases.
Properties of the noble gases
The elements in
Groups are the vertical columns in the Periodic Table, consisting of elements with similar properties (chemical 'families').
0 of the
The Periodic Table is a table listing the elements in order of atomic number, arranged so that similar elements appear in
- Helium (He)
- Neon (Ne)
- Argon (Ar)
- Xenon (Xe)
- Radon (Rn)
These are all colourless
A monatomic gas is one that exists as single atoms.
gases. Monatomic means that the gases exist as single, unbonded atoms.
We see some trends in the physical properties of the
The noble gases are the elements in Group 0 (sometimes called Group 8) in the Periodic Table: helium, neon, argon, krypton,
xenon, and radon.
going down the group. Look at the graphs below:
Why are the noble gases so unreactive?
The noble gases were originally called the
'Inert' means unreactive.
gases. The word 'inert' describes a substance that has no reactions. However, in 1962 the first
A compound is a substance made up of more than one type of atom.
containing a noble gas was made and the group was later renamed!
Look at the atoms of the first three noble gases below:
It is the complete highest energy level (full outer shell) that makes the atoms of a noble gas so stable and unlikely to
react. There are only a few compounds of noble gases, mainly formed with the reactive elements fluorine and oxygen, and then
only with the larger noble gases.
Uses of the noble gases
Here are some of the main uses of the noble gases:
- in balloons
- in the mixture of gases deep-sea divers breathe
- in its liquid state, to cool the superconducting magnets in body scanners
- in electric discharge tubes (used in advertising signs)
|Figure 5. Neon lights glowing red.
- inside light bulbs
- in welding, to stop the hot metal oxidizing
- in lasers used to operate on eyes
|Figure 6. Krypton used in lasers for eye surgery.
- to treat cancers (its radioactive atoms destroy cells)
The noble gases in Group 0 (or 8) of the Periodic Table are very unreactive gases.
This is because their atoms have complete highest energy levels (full outer shells) of electrons.
Their melting points and density rise as we go down the group.
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