The Instrumentation Center



Has the era of neon lights ended?

"Neon" dance teams are a relatively new trend. While it only appears as if they're using neon tubing, the performances are mesmerizing!

Contributor: University of Toledo Instrumentation Center

About the Display: The display box features a discharge tube in the shape of the element's symbol. The tube is filled with Neon and powered by a transformer. When an electric charge excites the Neon gas in the tube, the Neon emits a red glow.

Electrons of the neon atoms 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


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Symbol: Ne

Atomic Number: 10

Atomic Mass: 20.1797 u

Electron Configuration: [He] 2s22p6

Year Discovered: 1898

Discovered By: Morris Travers, William Ramsay

Last Updated: 6/27/22