Neon

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Neon ("Ne")is a colorless gas, but because it's atomic number is 10, it's first two electron shells (which want to have 2 and 8 electrons respectively) are completly full, meaning similar to helium(and all the "noble gases", He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe)it is very VERY non-reactive.

It's similar to Helium in many ways, it's non-reactive, it's present in the air at a tiny percentage and that's where they purify it from, however it isn't as light as helium so you can't fill balloons with it or make your voice go all funny by breathing it.

One of neon's most famous uses is in the gas discharge lamp, which is a lamp in which light is produced by putting high-voltage electricity through low-pressure gas, and neon is used most popularly because it is generally the brightest gas you can use. Gas discharge lamps come in many shapes and sizes, one you might be familiar with is a long glass tube with an electrode at either end shaped like letters or words, known as neon signs(however neon is always a red-orange color, any other color is made by a different gas mixture).

Something I do besides collect atomic elements is collect interesting lightbulbs, so most likely this page will have lots of samples far more unusual than the element in them.

These are my samples!

Helium-Neon Laser

Before semiconductors made LEDs an easy way to make laser light, you had to use plasmatized gas in a big glass tube with extremely carefully aligned mirrors on either end, and it was much more fun. One type which creates red laser light is a mixture of helium and neon gas, being mostly neon. This is the tube required, but it won't run without some high voltage from someplace.

Date added(year-month-day):20110801, sample number:48

Tags(Elements in sample):helium, neon

NE-2 Neon Bulb, Lit

Same bulb as the entry below, except I managed to turn it on with high-voltage circuitry from a camera flash I took apart. Don't mess with these unless you know what you're doing, 300 volts to the heart will most likely stop it and kill you.

Date added(year-month-day):20110723, sample number:8

Tags(Elements in sample):neon, vacuum

NE-2 Neon Bulb

These miniature neon bulbs were very commonly used in the control panels of old equipment, their main advantage being that they can run on 120 volts straight from the wall (With a resister to lower the amps). You can tell they're neon bulbs because the two wires inside the glass don't touch each other or have anything connecting them, therefor the gas between them becomes a plasma and emits light. If you have a orange glowing light switch someplace in your house, it probably has a NE-2 bulb in it just like this one.

Date added(year-month-day):20110723, sample number:7

Tags(Elements in sample):neon, vacuum

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