Chemistry of Argon
Argon is a member of the noble gas family, which is located in Group 18 on the Periodic Table. It was discovered by Henry Cavendish in 1785 and was named Argon, which is derived from the Greek word "argos" meaning inactive. Cavendish formed oxides of nitrogen by passing electric currents through air, then dissolved them in water to get nitric acid, but was unable to get all of the air to react. He suspected that there was a then unidentified gas component of air; Ramsay and Rayleigh went on to isolate this component in 1894, and the new found element was thus named Argon.
Periodic Trend Facts
Since it is a part of the noble gas family, argon has a complete octet in its valence electron shell. It is the third element of Group 18 of the Periodic Table, and has an atomic number of 18. According to periodic trends, argon has a very low melting point and weak intermolecular forces, which affects its ability to form molecules. Argon also has the lowest melting point in its period, which is 84 K. Its electron configuration is 1s2 2s2p6 3s2p6.
Argon is very abundant in the atmosphere; air is .943% Ar by volume. It is also found in the photosphere: scientists are able to measure solar argon abundance by looking at the amount found in solar flares, lunar soil, solar wind, and samples from Jupiter's atmosphere.1
Formation Of Molecules:
Due to its full valence electron shell and weak intermolecular forces, it is very difficult for argon to form molecules. For this reason it is usually considered one of the most inert noble gases. It is only recently that scientist have been able to form molecules using argon, the most notable of which is HArF. This was accomplished by mixing argon with ultraviolet light and hydrogen fluoride. It is predicted that there are more molecules that we may be able to create soon as well, such as HArCl.
Because of argon's inertness, it is very useful in commercial settings. For example, it can be used in the formation of semiconductor materials and in metallurgical processes. When mixed with nitrogen, argon can also be used in electric lightbulbs. Argon is also useful in welding, as it can protect substances from the corrosive properties of oxygen and nitrogen.
1. What is the electron configuration of argon?
2. Name 2 commercial uses for argon.
3.Why is argon considered to be chemically inert under most circumstances?
4.What is the freezing point of argon?
5.What is one of the molecules created using argon?
1. 1s2 2s2p6 3s2p6
2. Welding, electric lightbulbs, semiconductor materials, metallurgical processes.
3. Argon has a full valence electron shell, and has weak intermolecular forces.
4. -189.2 C.
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