Neon was discovered in 1898 by the scientists Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers who had recently discovered another Group 18 element Krypton. Having previously discovered Helium and Krypton the pair were aware an element existed between them. By freezing a sample of liquid air and evaporating the Argon off and reducing the pressure they collected the first gas to come off. By conducting a spectrum analysis using a high voltage they discovered a bright red light on the spectrum they attributed to the element Neon. Neon whilst rare on earth is the fifth most abundant gas in the universe found in stars and planetary atmospheres. It is an inert gas having a full outer shell of 8 electrons and is highly unreactive. Neon is often used in making high voltage equipment and lasers. It has also found a use in refrigeration units due to its ability to absorb large amounts of heat, however due to its rarity it is much more expensive than Helium or Hydrogen. Its most common use is in the production of Neon signs, producing a reddish orange colour. It is located in Group 18, the Noble gases. It is a non metallic gas at room temperature and it has a melting point of -248°c and a boiling point of -246°c.
Sir William Ramsey, M.W. Travers