Illustration of Argon

1894 Argon

The book of science

Tom Sharp

LondonJohn William Strutt Lord Rayleigh, William Ramsay elements Illustration of Argon


The lazy gas, call it “argon” from the Greek, doesn’t react with other elements, a “noble” gas. William Ramsay and the noble Baron Rayleigh had determined that a fourth gas lurked in our atmosphere because nitrogen produced from chemical compounds was lighter than nitrogen from the atmosphere. They removed all the oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and nitrogen from a sample of air. The residue, less than one percent, was argon.

Atomic number 18

A relatively cheap, chemically inert gas for incandescent and fluorescent lighting and preserving the Declaration of Independence. A blue ion laser for surgery, a blue-green gas-discharge lamp, a transparent insulation between windowpanes.


Odorless unlike me colorless compared to my yellow skin and monatomic whereas I am bound to my sweetheart. True nobility is not being aloof but recognizing the nobility of others. Every creature has an inborn nobility which I may choose to deny in the case of snails and slugs.

Unlike helium, argon is denser than air, so can pool into a confined space. Although it is not toxic; it is futile to breathe.

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