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What is neon used for?

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Quick Answer

Neon is most commonly used in advertising signs, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry. Additionally, it is used in high-voltage indicators, wavemeter tubes, old-fashioned television tubes and lightning arrestors.

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Full Answer

Liquid neon is a valuable economic cryogenic refrigerant, as it possesses 40 times more refrigerating capacity per unit volume than liquid helium and three times more than that of liquid hydrogen, explains the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Chemistry Explained discusses that the most popular use of neon gas is in making neon lights, which are composed of a glass tube filled with neon. An electric current passes through the glass tube, causing the neon atoms to split apart. The parts recombine after a fraction of a second and then give off neon light.

Neon lighting is used for various purposes, such as carrying out precise types of surgery and manufacturing lasers. A laser produces extremely bright light of a single color. Neon tubes are also used in instruments that detect electric currents.

French chemist Georges Claude invented neon lighting. He first displayed a neon sign at the Paris Exposition in 1910. By the 1920s, it had become popular throughout the world. Hotels, restaurants, night clubs and many other establishments use neon lights for their signs.

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