Radon Facts

Radon Facts
Radon (Rn) has an atomic number of eighty-six, with eighty-six protons in the nucleus of one atom. It was the fifth radioactive element discovered, and is typically a colorless gas that puts off an intense glow when frozen.
Interesting Radon Facts:
Pierre and Marie Curie reported findings in 1899 of a glowing gas that radium gave off.
Radon was discovered in 1900 by Friedrich Ernst Dorn, who called it radium emanation.
In 1910, two scientists, Sir William Ramsay and Robert Whytlaw-Gray, conducted further experiments on radon's properties and discovered that it was the heaviest known gas.
These scientists wrote the radium emanation was an awkward name, and named it niton for its brilliant phosphorescent properties.
The name was changed to radon by the International Committee for Chemical Elements and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry in 1923.
There are thirty-six known isotopes of radon, all of them unstable, only four of which even have a half-life of longer than one hour, with the longest being only 3.8 days.
Rn-222 is the most abundant in nature of all of radon's isotopes due to the extremely short half-lives of the other isotopes.
The unit of measure for concentrations of radon gas is the becquerel per cubic meter.
Radon's abundance is believed to be between ten and one hundred Bq per cubic meter, depending on indoor or outdoor atmosphere.
In more standard measurements, that would be around 0.00000000000000000006 atoms of radon for each molecule of air.
While the concentration of radon drops significantly over the oceans, in caves it can be as high as 2000 becquerel per cubic meter.
Radon can be carried in oil pipelines due to its similar pressure and temperature properties to propane, which can cause the pipelines to become radioactive.
Radon's effect on the environment is a major concern for scientists and government agencies.
Many state and local governments, particularly in Iowa where radon overconcentration occurs naturally due to glacial movement on granite, have enacted radon-resistant construction legislation.
Radon has been used in pseudomedical practices throughout history, but has had an effect on killing cancerous cells while unfortunately producing free radicals.
Radon does serve a scientific purpose in tracking air masses and in research in predicting earthquakes.

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