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- noun a colourless, odourless gas used in electric luminescent tubes to provide a bright light; a xenon stroboscope for ignition timing is strong enough to use in daylight
- A colorless and odorless noble gas whose atomic number is 54. Although it is in the noble gas group of the periodic table, it does has limited reactivity. It is present in very small amounts in the atmosphere, and has over 35 known isotopes, of which 8 are stable. It is used, for instance, in high-intensity arc lamps, flash lamps, radiation detectors, lasers, and semiconductors. Its chemical symbol is Xe.
- chemical symbolXe
Origin & History of “xenon”
Xenon is etymologically the ‘strange’ gas. It was named in 1898 by its discoverer, the British chemist Sir William Ramsay. He adapted the term from the neuter form of Greek xénos ‘strange’, which may be a distant relative of English guest, hospital, host, etc, and is also the source of English xenophobia ‘fear of foreigners’ (19th c.).