Archive | Non-metals


    Radon is a very dense, radioactive gas that can accumulate in homes.  This gas can cause lung cancer. next element                              previous element


  Pulses of high voltage sent through tubes containing xenon gas (a monoatomic gas) produce short, intense white light.  These tubes, called xenon flash lamps, have been used in the film industry and also in scientific research. next element                                 […]


Crystals of solid iodine have a deep purple color.   next element                                         previous element


    Kryptonite is the fictitious compound that takes away Superman’s strength.  Does this fictitious element contain the element Krypton?  In any event, Krypton is a monoatomic gas used in flashlights. next element                                          previous element


  Bromine, in the form of HOBr, is sometimes added to pools in place of chlorine (in the form of HOCl).  HOCl and HOBr are effective antiobacterial agents.  At high temperatures, HOBr and HOCl can be removed from pool water due to the following reactions: HOCl (aq) + HCl (aq) –> H2O (g) + Cl2 […]


Selenium is used in solar cells.  Because selenium is in the same family as sulfur, its chemical characteristics are similar to sulfur.  Therefore, it should be no surprise that selenium can be used to vulcanize rubber.  next element                                   […]


Argon exists as a monoatomic gas.  If electric current is passed through argon gas, the gas gives off a blue glow.  This is how blue “neon” lights are made.  Argon gas is also used in flashlights.   next element                                   […]


Chlorine, often in the form of calcium hypochlorite, Ca(OCl)2, is added to swimming pools to kill microorganisms.  The acidic form of hypochlorite, hypochlorous acid (HOCl), is the effective antibiotic: OCl– + H3O+ –> HOCl + H2O This means that pool water must be kept acidic enough to allow HOCl to form, but not too acidic (you don’t […]


Sulfur is used to vulcanize rubber.  Vulcanization is the process whereby long carbon chains are “linked” together by sulfur atoms.   next element                                        previous element


Phosphorus is found in ammonium phosphate, (NH4)3PO4, which is used in many fire extinguishers. next element                                        previous element