Symbol Xe
Atomic Number 54
Atomic Mass 131.293 g.mol 1
Discovered by William Ramsay in the year 1898

What is Xenon?

  • Xenon is a chemical element with the symbol Xe and atomic number 54 in the periodic table.
  • It was discovered by William Ramsay in the year 1898.

Table of Contents

Chemical Properties of Xenon

Group 18 Melting point −111.75°C/ −169.15°F/ 161.4 K
Period 5 Boiling point −108.099°C, −162.578°F, 165.051 K
Block p Density (g cm3) 0.005366
Atomic number 54 Relative atomic mass 131.293
State at 20°C Gas Key isotopes 132Xe
Electron configuration [Kr] 4d105s25p6 CAS number 7440-63-3
ChemSpider ID 22427 ChemSpider is a free chemical structure database

Physical properties of Xenon

  • Xenon is a rare, colourless, odourless, tasteless and chemically unreactive gas.
  • Xenon is a trace gas ( i.e., which makes up less than 1 % by volume of Earth’s atmosphere. It is found as a component in gases released from a few mineral springs.
  • It is also released as a by-product when the air is separated into Nitrogen and Oxygen.
  • The element has an atomic number 54 as its nucleus contains 54 protons. It is available in all forms i.e., solids, liquids, and gases.

Applications and effects of Xenon

Optics and illumination

  • It is used in Flash lamps called Xenon flash lamps.
  • It is also used in Stroboscopic lamps and photographic flashes.
  • Lasers are generated with the help of Xe gas.


  • The element Xe acts as a natural anaesthetic.
  • Inhaling the mixture of oxygen and xenon produces a hormone which helps to increase Red Blood Cell (RBC) production.
  • It is used to measure the flow of blood and also used to image the Brain, Heart, and Lungs.
  • Also, the element is used in NMR spectroscopy

Interesting Facts about Xenon

  • The name Xenon is derived from the Greek word Xenos which means “stranger”.
  • It is the most expensive and most dense of all the gases.
  • It produces a bluish-purple colour when electrified.
  • It forms very good compounds with Fluorine.

XeF4 and XeF6 are expected to be

XeF4 oxidises potassium iodide

XeF4 + 4I → 2I2 + 4F + Xe

XeF4 and XeF6 are expected to be oxidising because in both the reactions XeF4 and XeF6 both caused the oxidation. XeF6 oxidises hydrogen-like other xenon fluorides.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


What is the geometry of XeF4?

The shape of XeF4​ is square planar. The central Xe atom has 4 bond pairs of electrons and two lone pairs of electrons. It undergoes sp3d2 hybridization which results in octahedral electron geometry and square planar molecular geometry. The two lone pairs are at opposite corners of an octahedron.


What is XeF4 used for?

XeF4 is a compound that normally occurs as a colourless/white, crystalline solid. This compound is made of up xenon (a noble gas) and fluoride (a naturally occurring mineral). XeF4 can be used to help find and analyse trace metals that contaminate silicone rubber.


Is Xe element a metal?

Xenon (Xe) exists as a colourless, odourless gas and is chemically inert. It has the atomic number 54 in the periodic table and belongs in Group 18, the Noble Gases. It is a non-metal with the symbol Xe. Xenon was discovered in 1898 by William Ramsay and Morris Travers.


What are some characteristics of xenon?

Xenon is one of the inert or noble gases and is odourless, colourless, tasteless and chemically non-reactive. While not toxic on its own, its compounds are strong oxidising agents that are highly toxic.


Xenon hexafluoride has a distorted octahedral geometry. Due to the presence of one lone pair on a xenon atom, the octahedral geometry is distorted.

Xenon hexafluoride has a distorted octahedral geometry. Due to the presence of one lone pair on a xenon atom, the octahedral geometry is distorted.

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