Atomic number: 86
Year discovered: 1900
Discovered by: Friedrich Ernst Dorn (1848-1916), a German physicist.
- Friedrich Ernst Dorn, while studying the radium that the Curies had discovered, found in 1900 that it gave off not only radiations but a gas that was itself radioactive.
- The gas was called “radium emanation” at first, but on closer study it turned out to be a noble gas, the sixth one, and was named “radon”.
- Dorn, apparently also called it “niton” after “the element radium” (radon was called “niton” because it was based on the Latin word, nitens, meaning “shining, bright, glittering”).
- Because of its transient existence, radon is found only in conjunction with a source of radium.
- The atmosphere contains traces of radon near the ground as a result of seepage from soil and rocks, all of which contain minute quantities of radium.
Name in other languages:
Italian: radon (emanio)
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.