How Was Neon Discovered?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 9, 2020 12:17:41 AM ET

Neon was discovered by freezing the chemical element argon using liquefied air. The gas that vaporized from the mixture was subjected to a high voltage to obtain its spectral lines. The crimson light that the gas emitted had never been recorded before, hence, the new element was given the name neon from the Greek neos, which means new.

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In 1898, Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers were conducting a series of experiments to determine the element that lies between helium and argon in the periodic table. By using argon, which Ramsay earlier discovered, the two scientists were able to collect the first sample of neon, which is an odorless and colorless gas.