The Instrumentation Center

Argon

ar

What happens if you make ice out of Argon? 

Contributor: University of Toledo Instrumentation Center

About the Display: As one of the noble gases, Argon was chosen by the Instrumentation Center. The display box features a discharge tube in the shape of the element's symbol. The tube is filled with Argon and powered by a transformer. When an electric charge excites the Argon gas in the tube, the Argon emits a blue glow. The glow comes from an electron of the gas becoming excited from the energy. The excited electron leaves its electron shell and orbits the nucleus of the atom at a higher state. Eventually, the electron will return to its original state, releasing the extra energy as light.

electron emitting light

Above: A basic illustration of how an excited electron returns to its regular state and emits light. Picture courtesy of flatworldknowledge.com

About the Contributor: The Instrumentation Center is run by Dr. Kristin Kirschbaum. Dr. Kirschbaum is the director of the Instrumentation Center and made this project possible via a grant from the Women and Philanthropy group at the University of Toledo. Other Instrumentation Center employees involved in this project include Jennifer Gadient, graduate student, and Cassandra Pittman, SCOPE Program manager.

Back to the Periodic Table

Symbol: Ar

Atomic Number: 18

Atomic Mass: 39.948 u

Electron Configuration: [Ne] 3s23p6

Year Discovered: 1894

Discovered By: Lord Rayleigh and Sir William Ramsay

Last Updated: 5/1/17