CHEMISTRY 4 MRS. ALINGER
ELEMENT RESEARCH PAPER
NOVEMBER 25, 2014
25 November 2014
Krypton: The “Super Element”
When you first hear the word “Krypton”, you may think of the fictional planet that
America’s superhero Superman once called home. However, krypton is also the name of a chemical element here on our own planet Earth. Though it is a rare, unreactive noble gas, krypton does play a significant role in today’s world in ways that are unfamiliar to most
(“Krypton”). Krypton is abbreviated by the chemical symbol Kr and is tasteless, colorless, and odorless (“Krypton”). It is located in group 18 and period 4 on the periodic table (Meadows).…show more content…
Despite this, they continued to analyze the light spectrum of their sample in hopes of discovering something new; this decision to proceed is what led to the discovery of krypton (Stewart). After removing oxygen and nitrogen from the gas with the use of copper and magnesium, the chemists examined the gas’s spectrum within a highvoltage vacuum tube (Stewart). Besides the anticipated presence of argon, two new spectral lines, green and orange in color, were also observed; these lines represented a new element, later named krypton after being removed from its ‘hiding place” within liquid air (Weast and Astle
B22; Stewart). Following the discovery of the inert gases such as krypton, Ramsay was given the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1904 (Stewart).
Along with its discovery, krypton was used and documented in other points in history.
During the Cold War (194791), radioactive krypton was used to approximate the nuclear production of the Soviet Union (“Krypton”). Krypton85, one of its radioactive isotopes, is produced by all nuclear reactors, so one was able to calculate the amount of krypton being emitted by the USSR by subtracting the amount that came from the reactors in the U.S. and
Europe from the total amount of krypton in the air (“Krypton”). Also an important point in history was the defining of the fundamental unit of length known as the meter. In 1960 an international committee decided