Hydrogen and the Noble Gases Hydrogen is the chemical element with atomic number 1. It is represented by the symbol “H”. It is an odorless, nonmetallic, tasteless and highly explosive gas. Hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant chemical element in the universe. It forms 1- ions when combined with metals, and 1+ ion when combined with non-metals to form acids. Hydrogen is “the fuel of life”; without it to combine with oxygen we would not have water.
Water is made of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. Oxygen burns hydrogen in the living system, releasing energy that runs our bodies. Hydrogen Peroxide keeps teeth and gums healthy preventing Gingivitis (gum disease). Carbohydrates like sugar, pasta and bread use Hydrogen as a primary blocker and are one of the most important energy sources for humans. Noble Gases also known as inert gas are the elements of Group 8 of the Periodic Table.
The six noble gases that occur naturally are Helium (He), Neon (Ne), Argon (Ar), Krypton (Kr), Xenon (Xe), and the radioactive Radon (Rn). They are all odorless, colorless, and are unreactive chemically. Noble gases are found in the atmosphere, the risk of a human being exposed is by inhaling; if the gases are not contained and release there is a serious risk of suffocation when confined to a small area.
The gases are used in lighting and photography; Helium, Neon, Argon, and Krypton are used in gas discharge decorating lighting, called “Neon” lights. Argon is used to fill incandescent light bulbs to inhibit the evaporation of tungsten filaments and increase bulb life. Xenon is used in electronic flash tubes and cameras and other flash tubes. Helium replaced the use of Hydrogen when it was determined to be flammable. Helium a natural gas with radioactive ores is used as a refrigerant and as a lifting gas for blimps and balloons.