54Xe Xenon

Year Discovered


Discovered By

Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers of England

Biological Rating

Not necessary for life.


Named from the Greek word meaning “stranger”, xenon is a heavy, colorless, odorless gas. Xenon, like other noble gases, is unreactive towards most other substances. It does react naturally with fluorine and can be made to react with other compounds. It is used in strobe lights, lasers and has various applications in nuclear energy research, especially radiation detection equipment. Xenon was the fuel used in the ion engine of NASA’S Deep Space One probe.

Biological Benefits

Xenon has no known biological use.

Role in Life Processes

No known benefits to life processes in plants and animals.


There are no xenon-bearing minerals. It is obtained from liquefying air.