Xenon was discovered in 1898 by William Ramsay and Morris Travers. After separating liquid air into a sample they conducted spectroscopic analysis of the remaining sample. They discovered blue lines which they attributed to the new element Xenon. Xenon draws its name from the Greek word ‘Xenos’ meaning stranger. Ramsay received the Nobel Prize in 1904 for his work on the discovery of the noble gases. Xenon whilst a noble gas is relatively unreactive but compounds with oxygen and fluorine have been made. Xenon is widely used in photographic lighting and arc lamps. It is also used as an anaesthetic in medical procedures. It is located in Group 18 as a non metal gas which is odourless and colourless. It has a melting point of -118°c and a boiling point of -108°c.
Sir William Ramsay; M. W. Travers