Noble Gases - Trends In Physical And Chemical Properties

Group 18 elements of the modern periodic table

Group 18 of the modern periodic table consists of noble gases. Helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon are noble gases. These gases are monoatomic and chemically inert under normal conditions and because of this they are also called inert gases. These gases are present in very small quantities in the atmosphere, and so they are also called rare gases. Radon possesses radioactive characteristics. These gases were not discovered in Mendeleev’s time, so he did not specify any place for them in the periodic table. Later on, a new group known as zero groups was created to place them in the modern periodic table. According to the IUPAC conventions, group zero has been renamed as group 18.Helium is the only noble gas with 2 electrons in the outermost shell, the rest all have 8.

noble gas structure

3D Structure of Noble gas

Physical and chemical properties of group 18 elements

The noble gases do not react under normal conditions. The non-reactivity of noble gases is due to the following reasons:

  1. The valence shell of the noble gases is completely filled. The next available shell is of much higher energy.
  2. Noble gases have very high ionization enthalpies.
  3. They have large positive values of electron gain enthalpy.

Noble gases have no tendency to gain or lose electrons under ordinary conditions. This is the only reason why they do not participate in chemical reactions and remain inert. According to modern researchers, it has been seen that noble gases can be compelled to take part in a chemical reaction under certain specific conditions.

A scientist named Neil Bartlett found that PtF6 reacts with oxygen and forms O2+ [PtF6]. The ionization energy of oxygen and xenon is comparable, and so PtF6 should react with xenon to form Xe+ [PtF6]. This assumption was proved to be correct and hence he succeeded in isolating the orange-yellow compound, XePtF6. This compound was obtained at room temperature by the interaction of PtF6 with xenon. This discovery of Neil Bartlett led to the further discovery of several other xenon compounds, mainly those formed with electronegative elements such as fluorine and oxygen. There are only a few compounds of Krypton. Some compounds of radon have been prepared and identified by radiotracer techniques, but their isolation has not been possible. The true chemical nature of compounds of helium, neon, and argon is still unknown.

Read more about the different elements of the periodic table here.

We have briefly seen the properties of noble gases and the reason for such characteristics. For any further queries on this topic, install BYJU’S learning app.

Frequently asked questions

Noble gases belong to which group of the periodic table?

Noble gases are the chemical elements which belong to group 18 of the periodic table.

What are the other names of noble gases?

Rare gases or inert gases.

Name the noble gases.

Helium, argon, xenon, radon, neon, and krypton.

Name the noble gas which is radioactive.

Radon is radioactive.

Who discovered noble gases?

Sir William Ramsay.

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