Element Factfile: Neon

Today's element

itch-header

itch-packshotOut now, the book follows Itchingham Lofte – known as Itch- who is an element-hunter! He’s decided to collect all the elements in the periodic table, which has some rather destructive results in his bedroom!

However, when he discovers a brand new element, never seen before, he ends up with unwanted attention and a lot of danger.

Itch is written by Simon Mayo and published by Random House – out now.

So you can become an element hunter too, we’ve put together fact files on some key elements you’ll want to catch!

Today’s is… Neon
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Here’s what Itch has got to say:

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neonChances are you’ve come across this element – it’s Neon, the fourth most abundant element in the universe.

Neon was discovered by Sir William Ramsay, a Scottish chemist, and Morris M. Travers, an English chemist, through the study of liquefied air.

It was only discovered in 1898 and that may be because, whilst it’s the fourth most common element in the universe, actually only 0.0018% of the earth’s atmosphere is neon.

Generally it’s best known as the gas that’s used to make advertising signs so bright, as well as in glow sticks for a good party!

However, it’s also used to make helium-neon lasers and liquid neon is used as a cryogenic refrigerant too – so plenty of uses.

Check out all the elements: