Often the discovery of radon honors Ernest Rutherford. In addition, he discovered the alpha-particle radiation produced by radon. In 1923, Radon became the official name for element 86. IUPAC has selected radon from the names radon (Rn), thoron (Tn), and actinon (An). The other two names are given to radon isotopes. Thoron is Rn-220 and actinon has been Rn-219. Many possible names for rad Thoron is Rn-220 and actinon has been Rn-219. Many names proposed for radon included radium emanation, niton, extadio, exthorio, exactinio, akton, radeon, thoreon, and actineon.

Radon Uses

The application of radon relies on the radiation it produces. Such radiation can not be heard, felt, tasted or sensed by any other human sense. However, a number of instruments have been invented to detect this radiation. For example, a Geiger counter is a device that makes a clicking sound or flashes a light when the radiation is passing through it.

Radon was first discovered by Fredrich E. Dorn from Germany in 1900 while working with the radium element. Later, in 1908, Robert Gray and William Ramsay isolated the gas that had been named niton. The gas has been named radon by IUPAC since 1923.

Radon is everywhere; it is formed from uranium in all rocks and soils. Radon levels are low outdoors and indoors in many locations, and the risk to health is minimal. The darker the color of the radon maps, the greater the chance of a high level of radon in the building. Almost all houses, however, even in the darkest places, have high levels.

The Atomic Number of Radon

Radon is a chemical element with the Rn symbol and atomic number 86.

Radon (Rn) is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that occurs naturally as the decay of the elements radium, uranium, and thorium. This is a noble (or inert) gas, which means that it is chemically inactive and interacts with other compounds only in extreme conditions. It is dense — the hardest known gas — and is considered a health hazard due to its radioactivity.

Radon Element

Radon (Rn), a chemical element, a heavy radioactive gas of Group 18 (noble gases) of the periodic table, produced by the radioactive decay of the radium. (Radon was originally called radium emanation.)

What is the Boiling Point of Radon

Radon is a colorless gas, 7.5 times heavier than air, and more than 100 times heavier than hydrogen. The gas is liquefied at −61.8 ° C (−79.2 ° F) and freezes at −71 ° C (−96 ° F). 

Radon Atomic Mass

Radon is an element with atomic symbol Rn, atomic number 86, and 222.0.

The three naturally occurring radon isotopes (222Rn, 220Rn, and 219Rn) with half-lives varying over 3 orders of magnitude are useful as tracers in many branches of geoscience. In its successful use as an environmental tracer, a detailed understanding of its physical, chemical, and nuclear properties is needed.

Properties of Radon

Physical Properties of Radon & Chemical Properties of Radon

Radon has a melting point of -71°C, the boiling point of -61.8 °C, the gas density of 9.73 g/l, the specific gravity of the liquid state of 4.4 at -62°C, the specific gravity of the solid-state of 4, usually with a valency of 0 (it does form some compounds, however, such as radon fluoride).

Radon is a colorless gas at normal temperatures. It is also the heaviest of the gases. When it is cooled below its freezing point it displays brilliant phosphorescence. The phosphorescence is yellow as the temperature decreases, becoming orange-red at the temperature of the liquid air. Radon inhalation poses a health risk. Radon build-up is a health concern when working with radium, thorium, or actinium. It is also a possible problem in the uranium mining industry.

Health Effects of Radon

Radon exists mostly in a gaseous state, and people are predominantly exposed to it by breathing air. Exposure to the factor through breathing can cause lung disease. The great thing about radon is that it does not have adverse consequences without direct interaction with it.

Radioactive elements formed by the decay of radon can be inhaled and entered into our lungs. Within the lungs, these components tend to decay and emit radiation, most of all alpha particles. They are absorbed by surrounding lung tissues and cause localized damage. This damage can lead to cancer of the lungs. In other words, Radioactive elements are decaying and emitting radiation. Any exposure to this type of radiation is a health risk-radiation is a form of energy and can cause damage to living tissues, increasing the risk of cancer.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the Environmental Effects of Radon?

Radon is a radioactive compound, which rarely occurs naturally in the environment. Most of the radon compounds found in the environment derive from human activities. Radon enters the environment through the soil, through uranium and phosphate mines, and through coal combustion. Radon is a particularly dangerous substance due to the radiation it creates. It's only used with great caution. Radon is especially harmful because it is inhaled, exposing delicate tissues to penetrating radiation.

2. What are the Key Properties of Radon?

Radon is the heaviest of all noble gasses and has a total of 36 isotopes ranging from 193Rn to 228Rn, all of which are radioactive. Radon has been widely studied for a large part of the last 115 years since its first discovery in 1900, including its impact on human health. The key properties of radon include the following -

  • It is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas

  • It exhibits brilliant yellow phosphorescence at a temperature below its freezing point

  • It is the densest gas discovered so far

  • It is not chemically very reactive

  • It is sparingly soluble in water.