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__hirunii__'s picture

Did you ever wonder what lit up those 'OPEN' signs when you passed the billions of restaurants and stores? The answer can be summed up using one word. Neon.

Neon (Ne) is the tenth element in the periodic table and under standard conditions this element takes form as a colourless and odourless gas. Neon is the fifth most abundant element in the universe, however it is very rare to find in the Earths atmosphere and on its crust. 
This gas is more prominently found in stars and is created in the alpha process of stars when helium and oxygen are fused together. Because of the rarity of this element on Earth, scientists can commercially produce from liquid air through a process called fractional distillation. 
Today, when someone mentions the word 'neon', we automatically think of the bright and vibrant colours we all find in our highlighters when in reality, Neon only shows a red-orange colour when put through a vacuum discharge. Neon is also used to make high-voltage indicators and switching gear, lightning arresters, diving equipment and lasers. Neon has no known biological use and is a non-toxic gas. 
Here is a model of my Neon atom:
Neon is classified as one of the Noble Gases on the Periodic Table and consist of 10 Protons, 10 Neutrons and 8 outer-shell Electrons. As shown above these outer shell electrons are spaced out on the electron cloud and are kept within the atom through great energy between the protons and neutrons. 
You might've also realised that Neon isn't present in any molecules or compounds and this because Neon is a completely inert gas. As Neon is an inert gas this means that it's non-reactive. We refer to gases as being chemically inert if their atoms don't combine or react with other atoms in chemical reactions. This is why like helium, Neon is lighter than air because unlike Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen, the elements aren't bonded together.
Neon has three known isotopes which are; Neon-20, Neon-21, and Neon-22. Neon-20 is the most common isotope and contributes into the making 90% of the naturally occuring Neon.
Some information that I would like to further know and question about Neon is how it was originally found if the gas was colourless and odourless and how the uses of Neon were created. 
During the QUT Experience, I was able to experience something that was new to me as a whole. I hadn't  done much programming before the day and did not have any prior experiences with it either. When programming, I found that the programs and commands I put in had to be very accurate otherwise my logo would glitch and not work. 
Personally, I believe I found making a molecule was a lot harder than making an  element and this was probably because I wasn't able to to program the cylinders quite right. After learning the basic steps of making an element, I easily could make my Neon element model, however creating the individual protons and neutrons to fit together was a little difficult, time-consuming and required trial and error. With the skill I had learnt I was able to give pointers and basic help to my peers and now programming on this is quite clear and straightforward. I found that most of my commands were repeated; some specific such as the scale and colour of each electron and some were more general such as the individual colours of neutrons and protons. 
Overall, I believe that this was a worthwhile experience and will definitely help me in the future.
Here are the links to my 3D Model and Logo Program


dkham0's picture


I cant see your links.

In-text referencing?

Why is it a stable inert gas? Could have described more than you have there.