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No Longer "Noble"; Argon Compound Found In Space

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  • What's next? (Score:5, Informative)

    by DaTrueDave (992134) * on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:34AM (#45695135)

    Do we categorize Argon as a non-noble gas, or do we redefine what a noble gas actually is?

    Wait, I guess noble doesn't mean what I thought it meant, or there were already plenty of exceptions, as I just read this wiki article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_gas_compounds [wikipedia.org]

    • Re:What's next? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:56AM (#45695319)

      Argon has already been shown to be "non-noble" many years ago - hell, you can buy Argon compounds from chemical suppliers right now (like Argon difluoride).

      The title is simply scientific ignorance.

      • Re:What's next? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Tim the Gecko (745081) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @12:12PM (#45695435)

        Argon has already been shown to be "non-noble" many years ago - hell, you can buy Argon compounds from chemical suppliers right now (like Argon difluoride).

        I think you mean Xenon difluoride [wikipedia.org]. I can't find any reports of Argon difluoride being produced.

      • Re:What's next? (Score:5, Informative)

        by jeffb (2.718) (1189693) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @12:21PM (#45695471)

        You are confused. You can buy xenoncompounds off the shelf, but certainly not argon compounds. Nobody has yet made argon difluoride, and I'm not sure current theory supports its existence.

        The first synthesis of an argon compound was reported in 2000, so the first part of the headline is misleading -- this discovery itself doesn't "demote" argon. But it's still interesting news.

        • by jo_ham (604554)

          Yes, I meant to write xenon difluriode (we have some in the lab), not argon.

    • by rmdingler (1955220) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:59AM (#45695355)
      This. Instead of shopping for Christmas before the Baptists get out of church and flood the stores, I am looking up noble gases, then noble metals, and then electric potential on a Sunday morning.... sigh.
    • Noble gas compounds are, indeed, old news. No need to change names or categorizations, though. After all, we still refer to human members of "the nobility", no matter how ignobly they may behave.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      Do we categorize Argon as a non-noble gas, or do we redefine what a noble gas actually is?

      We don't necessarily need to do either; the article headline is a little bit misleading.

      Non-reactivity, or the non-existence of molecules is not inherent to the definition of Noble gas. Non-reactivity is a description of what is believed to be true about noble gasses. The noble gasses were long believed to be completely nonreactive; but now, compounds of Xenon, Krypton, Radon.... and now Argon are known. We

      • by Anonymous Coward

        We just need to find some compounds of Helium and Neon, and then.... compounds will be known of all the noble gasses.

        Spectra of neon and helium hydride ions have been observed years ago in the lab, which is what was found here with Argon. Neutral argon compounds have been formed in the lab years ago too.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Do we categorize Argon as a non-noble gas, or do we redefine what a noble gas actually is?

      Neither --- you're not thinking sufficiently American.

      Send the supernova a Cease & Desist letter. That'll teach'em to stop messing with us!

    • Re:What's next? (Score:4, Informative)

      by fermion (181285) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @02:27PM (#45696599) Homepage Journal
      These things are often oversimplified to teach the basics. For the purposes of a introductory chemistry class, the group 18 elements are not going to play a part in chemical reactions under everyday circumstances. This is simplified down to 8 valence electrons. When one talks about s^2p^6 for everything but He, all the eyes starts going into the forehead and all the other details become lost and questions such as 'is this going to be on the test' get most of the attention. What we are talking about here is not ordinary chemistry, but supernovas, which build most other elements out of the noble gas Helium.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        not going to play a part in chemical reactions under everyday circumstances.

        The funny thing, is after some very difficult attempts it took to form the first xenon compounds, confirming it is very difficult to form such compounds, someone realized it could be done a lot easier with just UV light from the sun. Filling a jar with fluorine and xenon gas, leave it in the sun, and you will get xenon fluoride.

    • It means I can finally synthesize some Kryptonite! Superman, all your base will be mine soon! Bwahahahahaha

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Do we categorize Argon as a non-noble gas, or do we redefine what a noble gas actually is?

      Neither.

      A noble element is one that has its valence shell full. That's it. That's why it's in that column of the periodic table.

      It doesn't mean it won't react, it's just got less reason to (atoms normally bond to fill up their valence shell with electrons by sharing them with other atoms). That just means that two noble elements are not likely to bond together (no sharing going on). However, that doesn't mean some othe

  • And now we are Argon?
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @12:26PM (#45695509)

    xenon will combine with halogens. anything will combine with anything, you just need enough juice.

    • Still trying to figure out if that is a dirty comment.
    • by Nivag064 (904744)

      I got a shock 50 years ago, when I read an article about xenon compounds when I was 13. My background reading had given me the impression that the 'noble' elements did not form compounds.

      Note, once (same school year) I was meant to have read a chapter on Calcium for Chemistry homework, which I didn't read - but my background reading was sufficient, so that everybody implicitly assumed that I had read that chapter very well!

      • I was quite some time behind you, but the libraries I was borrowing from were even further behind. I learned about the nobles from one of Asimov's excellent non-fiction popular chemistry books, and from a 1950s edition of Britannica. I was thrilled when I found out that compounds actually existed.

    • by jeffb (2.718) (1189693) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @03:21PM (#45697033)

      Anything will combine with anything -- it just won't stay combined. You can rip as many electrons off (say) neon as you like, throw it in with another species, and watch them stick together long enough for neon to nab the electrons it wants -- but you won't get a compound that persists. Similarly, you can force xenon and anything together, but only a few pairings will produce compounds stable at even cryogenic temperatures.

  • ...declare me to not be noble. Denethor be damned.
    Oh, wait, argon, not Aragorn.
  • Can't anything live up to its promise

  • by dandelionblue (2757475) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @03:34PM (#45697119)

    The significant parts of this discovery are:

    - a noble gas has been found in space (this confirmed people's expectations that argon-36 could be found as part of a supernova, even though argon-40 is much more common on Earth - note that argon-36 is also available on Earth, just in smaller quantities, it's not a new isotope)
    - a noble gas molecule has been found in space (previously, argon compounds were only detected following Earth-based lab experiments)

    The significant part of this discovery is not:

    - that a noble gas can form a compound. Argon has had known compounds since 2003. Xenon has had known compounds since 1962, some of which are even stable at normal room temperature/pressure.

  • by krisamico (452786) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @04:55PM (#45697789)

    ... It's not always easy to be noble under extreme conditions. Happens to the best of us!

  • Well, if it is no longer of the Nobility, can it least get a peerage with a Knighthood?

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