William Ramsay – discoverer of four nobel gases

William Ramsay – discoverer of four nobel gases

William Ramsay – discoverer of four nobel gases

Biography & Contributions

William Ramsay was a British chemist and Nobel laureate born on October 02, 1852 – died on July 23, 1916. Ramsay was credited with the discovery of four important nobel gases.

His work led to the isolation of inert gaseous elements like argon, helium, neon, krypton, xenon and led to the development of a new section of the periodic table.

William Ramsay made several important discoveries and wrote many scientific papers regarding the oxides of nitrogen.

He discovered a heavy gas in atmospheric nitrogen, and named it argon. One year later, he liberated helium from a mineral called cleveite. While working with chemist Morris W. Travers in 1898, Ramsay isolated three more elements from liquid air at low temperature and high pressure, and termed them as neon, krypton, and xenon.

In collaboration with another chemist, Frederick Soddy, in 1903, Ramsay showed that helium, together with a gaseous emanation called radon, is consistently generated during the radioactive decay of radium. This discovery had a profound influence on the field of radiochemistry.

He studied their physiological action and established their structural relationship to pyridine. In 1879 he turned to physical chemistry to study the molecular volumes of elements at their boiling points.

His important contributions touch the fields of organic chemistry and physical chemistry including stoichiometry, thermodynamics, molecular weights, density, surface tension and the critical states of liquids and vapors.

Helium Gaseous Element

Helium is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, monatomic gas that heads the noble gas group in the periodic table. It’s boiling and melting points are the lowest among all the elements and it exists only as a gas except in extremely cold conditions.

Helium is used as a protective gas in growing silicon and germanium crystals, in titanium and zirconium production, and in gas chromatography. Helium is used as a shielding gas in arc welding processes on materials that at welding temperatures are contaminated and weakened by air or nitrogen. Helium, mixed with a heavier gas such as xenon, is useful for thermoacoustic refrigeration. Helium is also used in some hard disk drives.

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