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A discharge tube filled with Krypton

Krypton is a noble gas which means it does not react with many other elements. It is clear and has no taste or smell.[1] The atmosphere is only about one millionth part krypton.[1] The name kypton comes from the Greek word kryptos meaning hidden. It is used in fluorescent lamps, flashbulbs, and as a wavelength standard. The metre used to be defined as 1,650,763.73 wavelengths in a vacuum of krypton gas.[2] Krypton has very few compounds.


The main use for krypton is to make light. There is one main type of krypton light bulbs. This is called a gas discharge lamp. There are three main types of these. First is a low energy gas discharge lamp or "neon light". Low energy gas discharge lights made from krypton are near white to green. Second is a high energy short length of time gas discharge light or "flash bulb". These are mostly used for photography. They are bright blue-white. Third is a high energy gas discharge light. This third kind is mostly used to light airport runways. They are also bright blue-white.

Krypton is number 36 on the periodic table. Its symbol is Kr.


Krypton was found by Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers in Great Britain in 1898.[3] Ramsay was given the 1904 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on noble gases.[4] It was a difficult gas to discover; Ramsay suspected it existed but only found it by removing other gases.[5] This is why he gave it the name Krypton.[5] There is no mineral called Kryptonite or planet called Krypton, which features in the Superman comics by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.[5] The fictional planet is probably better known than the real chemical element called Krypton.[5]

Related pages


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Krypton". Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology. 2006. Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  2. "WebElements Periodic Table of the Elements". 2011 [last update]. Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  3. Friend, John Newton (1914). A text-book of inorganic chemistry, Volume 1. Griffin & Company. p. 346. Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  4. James, Laylin K. (1993). Nobel laureates in chemistry, 1901–1992. Chemical Heritage Foundation. p. 23. ISBN 0841226903 . Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Alfred, Randy (30 May, 2008). "May 30, 1898: Krypton Discovered, Decades Before Superman Arrives". Retrieved 29 June 2011.