Topics: Argon, Nitrogen, Oxygen Pages: 3 (1035 words) Published: May 7, 2013
Argon (Ar) is a noble gas found in Group 0 on the periodic table. It gets its name because of its chemical inertness and comes from the Greek root ‘Argo,’ which means lazy. This is because Argon doesn’t react well with other elements. The atomic number of Argon is 18 making it a member of the helium group of elements which are also called noble, or inert, gasses and are non reactive. Its electronic configuration is: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6

The outermost shell, shell number three, has a completely filled octet, therefore is quite stable. Thus, there is no need for an Argon atom to combine chemically with any other atom to form any bond. Argon’s history begins in 1785 when Cavendish mixed air with oxygen and performed several electrical discharges over a mixture of potassium hydroxide. By this process, he converted nitrogen of the air into potassium nitrate. Then, he removed the oxygen excess, but there still remained a small amount of gas, no larger than 1/120 of the original volume of air. He considered that this difference had been caused by experimental errors. About 100 years later, Lord Rayleigh and Sir William Ramsey discover Argon in 1894. For Ramsey, it is was as early as 1885-1890 when he published several notable papers on the oxides of nitrogen and followed those up with the discovery of Argon, Helium, Neon, Krypton, and Xenon. Led to the conclusion by different paths and, at first, without working together, both Lord Rayleigh and Sir William Ramsey succeeded in proving that there must exist a previously unknown gas in the atmosphere. They subsequently worked in their separate laboratories on this problem but communicated the results of their labors almost daily. At the meeting of the British Association in August 1894, they announced the discovery of Argon. They found the gas by isolating a small sample of the nonreactive portion of atmospheric nitrogen; once all the oxygen and nitrogen were removed from the sample of gas what they had left...
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