Chemical Element: krypton

(Greek: kryptos, "hidden"; gas)

Chemical-Element Information

Symbol: Kr
Atomic number: 36
Year discovered: 1898

Discovered by: William Ramsay (1852-1916), British chemist, and Morris William Travers (1872-1961), British chemist.

  • Krypton was discovered in 1898 by Sir William Ramsay and his student Morris Travers in the residue left after liquid air had nearly boiled away.
  • Krypton was left in the residue after boiling away water, oxygen, nitrogen, helium, and argon from the sample of air.
  • Neon was discovered by a similar procedure by the same workers just a few weeks later.
  • Krypton is characterized by its brilliant green and orange spectral lines.
  • The spectral lines of krypton are easily produced and some are very sharp.
  • Under normal conditions krypton is a colorless, odorless, and fairly expensive gas.
  • Krypton is available commercially in cylinders at high pressure.
  • It finds some application in gaseous tube lighting and in negative glow lamps for Christmas-tree ornaments, etc.
  • Krypton also is used in a type of lamp that produces a flash of light of extremely short duration; such bulbs are employed in high-speed photography.
  • If krypton and xenon were used in place of argon to fill hot-filament incandescent lamps, the efficiency and life of the lamps would be increased but so would their cost.

Name in other languages:

French: krypton

German: Krypton

Italian: cripto

Spanish: kriptón

Information about other elements may be seen at this Chemical Elements List.

A special unit about words that include chemo-, chem- may be seen here.