ELEMENT RESEARCH PAPER
NOVEMBER 25, 2014
25 November 2014
Krypton: The “Super Element”
When you first hear the word “Krypton”, you may think of the fictional planet that
America’s superhero Superman once called home. However, krypton is also the name of a chemical element here on our own planet Earth. Though it is a rare, unreactive noble gas, krypton does play a significant role in today’s world in ways that are unfamiliar to most
(“Krypton”). Krypton is abbreviated by the chemical symbol Kr and is tasteless, colorless, and odorless (“Krypton”). It is located in group 18 and period 4 on the periodic table (Meadows). …show more content…
Specifically, the meter was said to be precisely
1,650,762.73 wavelengths of this spectral line; this replaced the previously accepted definition of a meter, or the distance between two scratches on a platinum bar in Paris (Stwertka 111).
However, in 1983, the meter was again redefined as we know it today since we then had the ability to measure the speed of light (Stwertka 111). Last, until the early 1960s, krypton was thought to be completely unreactive and incapable of forming compounds with other elements
(Stewart). This myth was proven incorrect in 1963 when krypton was found to react with fluorine; this marked the creation of krypton difluoride, the first compound of krypton to be discovered (Stewart).
Krypton is one of the rarest gases on earth as it is ranked 83rd in abundance among the elements (Emsley). This gas exists in trace amounts within the air and has a atmospheric concentration of about 1 ppm, or part per million (Stwertka 110; Weast and Astle B22). Other natural abundances that are less common include earth’s crust at 10 ppt, or parts per trillion, and within seawater at 80 ppt (Emsley). The atmosphere of Mars has also been found to have 0.03 ppm of krypton gas (Emsley). Krypton has no specific function or role within the environment, and this is because it is nearly chemically inert and has a low water solubility (Emsley).
Naturally occurring krypton has six stable isotopes as well as fifteen other unstable isotopes that