Chemistry Essay – Radon

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Radon is an element that is on the periodic table of elements. It is a member of the family called the noble gases, which is group number 18. Radon is a gas. It is a gas at 298 k. it is the heaviest known mononuclear gas at that temperature. Radon is also colorless. When it is cooled below the freezing point, radon exhibits a brilliant phosphorescence, which becomes yellow as the temperature is lowered. At the temperature of liquid air it is sort of an orangish-red. The noble gases can be found on the very right side of the periodic table of elements. Radon has been around for quite some time. Radon comes from the element radium, which is derived from the element uranium. After radium has been 1,620 days old, radon forms 3.8 days afterwards. Radon is most often produced by the decay of radium in the crust of the earth. Radon was first discovered by a man named Fredrich Ernst Dorn. Mr. Dorn discovered this element around 1898. At first radon was not called radon, it was called niton. Niton coming from the Latin word nitens, meaning shining. It was only called radon up until about 1923.

Now, lets talk about the properties that radon has. It is element number 86 on the periodic table of elements. This means that is has 86 protons, and also 86 electrons in a neutral state. The atomic mass of radon is 222.0176. now if you take the atomic mass, and round it to the nearest whole number, and subtract the atomic number, then you have the number of neutrons in radon, which is 136. The density of radon at 293 degrees Kelvin is .00973 g/cm cubed. Radon has a boiling point of 211.4 degrees Kelvin. It is a nonmetal, but rather a gas. The melting point, which is different from the boiling point, is 202 degrees Kelvin. To my knowledge, there is no data on the oxidation numbers for the element radon. Also, I was unable to find any information on any major compounds. I guess radon isnt really all that popular. Oh well.

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Now, some things about radon, I bet you did not know.

Radon is quite dangerous. It is mainly hazardous if you inhale it. Not only radon it dangerous, but also its decay products. Which are collected on dust in the air. Radon and its decays form in the air. When radon decays in the earths crust, they rise. This poses as a problem, because over the earths crust, sometimes, is housing, or businesses. Since radon is hazardous man has invented the radon alarm. This alarm can fit on the ceiling anywhere. This alarm detects radon, which without being detected can cause major problems. There are however some uses for radon. Radon is used in hospitals for treating some types of cancers. Another major use for radon is in earthquake detecting. Radon can detect earthquakes, go figure, all though im not too sure as to how this process is carried out, but apparently it works. It also has the occasional therapeutic uses.

Some interesting things that I found about radon are the fact

that there was absolutely no information on its oxidation numbers, or

its major compounds. Another thing is that it can predict earthquakes.

Now I found that to be a bit odd. I thought to my self, now how

can a gas, predict an earthquake? Oh well, I guess its for the better

Microsoft Encarta ’99 KEYWORD:radon

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