18. Argon - Elementymology & Elements Multidict

Elementymology & Elements Multidict

This site comprises 120 pages of text and photos, one for each element, and several pages for access. – For captions or explanatory texts move your mouse over illustrations, links etc.

Argon – Argon – Argon – Argón – アルゴン – Аргон – 氬
Multilingual dictionary

Argon Latin

— Germanic
Argon Afrikaans
Argon Danish
Argon German
Argon English
Argon Faroese
Argon Frisian (West)
Argon Icelandic
Argon Luxembourgish
Argon Dutch
Argon Norwegian
Argon Swedish

— Italic
Argón Aragonese
Argon Aromanian
Argón Asturian
Argó Catalan
Argón Spanish
Argon French
Argon Friulian
Argon Galician
Argo Italian
Argh Lombard
Argon Occitan
Argon Portuguese
Argon Romanian - Moldovan

— Slavic
Аргон [Argon] Bulgarian
Argon Bosnian
Аргон [arhon] Belarusian
Argon Czech
Argon Croatian
Argón Kashubian
Аргон [Argon] Macedonian
Argon Polish
Аргон [Argon] Russian
Argón Slovak
Argon Slovenian
Аргон [Argon] Serbian
Аргон [arhon] Ukrainian

— Baltic
Argonas Lithuanian
Argons Latvian
Arguons Samogitian

— Celtic
Argon Breton
Argon Welsh
Argón Gaelic (Irish)
Argon Gaelic (Scottish)
Argon Gaelic (Manx)
Argon Cornish

— Other Indo-European
Αργο [argo] Greek
Արգոն [argon] Armenian
Argon[i] Albanian

— Indo-Iranian/Iranian
Argon Kurdish
Аргон [argon] Ossetian
Аргон [Argon] Tajik

— Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan
আর্গন [ārgana] Bengali
آرگون [ârgwn] Persian
આર્ગૉનનો [ārgonano] Gujarati
ऑर्गन [organa] Hindi

Argoon Estonian
Argon Finnish
Argon Hungarian
Аргон [Argon] Komi
Аргон [Argon] Mari
Аргон [argon] Moksha
Arguun Võro

Arqon Azerbaijani
Аргон [Argon] Chuvash
Аргон [argon] Kazakh
Аргон [Argon] Kyrgyz
Аргон [argon] Mongolian
Argon Turkish
ئارگون ['argon] Uyghur
Argon Uzbek

Other (Europe)
Argona Basque
არგონი [argoni] Georgian

أرجون [arghūn] Arabic
ארגון [argon] Hebrew
Argon Maltese

 (氬) Hakka
アルゴン [arugon] Japanese
아르곤 [areugon] Korean
อาร์กอน [ārkon] Thai
Agon Vietnamese
[ya4 / a3] Chinese

Argon Cebuano
Argon Indonesian
Argon Māori
Argon Malay

Other Asiatic
ആര്‍ഗോണ്‍ [ārgōṇ] Malayalam
ஆர்கன் [ārkaṉ] Tamil

Alago Lingala
Argone Sesotho
Arigoni Swahili

Argón Nahuatl

Argun Quechua

Argoni Sranan Tongo

Argono Esperanto

New names
Argon Atomic Elements
Neonbulbium Dorseyville
memory peg

Odorless, colorless gas which gives off a bluish light under high voltage
melting point -189 °C; -309 °F
boiling point -186 °C; -302 °F
density 0.0018 g/cc; 0.11 pounds/cubic foot
1894 Lord Rayleigh & Sir William Ramsay, England
αργος (argos) = idle (Greek)

History & Etymology

Sir William Ramsay (1852-1916) and Lord Rayleigh (born John William Strutt) published their discovery of argon in 1895: "Argon, a New Constituent of the Atmosphere" (note). Rayleigh was led into the investigation by small anomalies he found in measurements of the density of nitrogen purified by different methods. Those different methods led to different quantities of nitrogen, and thus to different proportions of nitrogen and a hitherto unsuspected atmospheric gas. Argon was the first noble gas isolated. Naturally there was no place for it in the periodic table as it then existed. Ramsay's subsequent work isolated helium and discovered neon, krypton, and xenon by the end of the century. Ramsay and Rayleigh were awarded Nobel Prizes in 1904. Note the plural "Prizes": Rayleigh was awarded the physics prize for argon, while Ramsay was awarded the chemistry prize for Argon and the family of noble gases (Giunta 1996).

Until 1957 the chemical symbol A was used (note).

An illustration of Ramsay's Argon Apparatus taken from his his book The Gases of the Atmosphere.

From the Greek word αργον, neut. of αργος [argos] argos "idle," from α- "without" + εργον "work." = lazy, inactive. Argon, just as the other noble gases, hardly react with other elements.

Anglium, Hibernium, and Scotium

In 1897, William Ramsay addressed the British Association for the Advancement of Science and told about the discovery of Argon: "The discovery of argon at once raised the curiosity of Lord Rayleigh and myself as to its position in this table. With a density of nearly 20, if a diatomic gas, like oxygen and nitrogen, it would follow fluorine in the periodic table; and our first idea was that argon was probably a mixture of three gases, all of which possessed nearly the same atomic weights, like iron, cobalt, and nickel. Indeed, their names were suggested, on this supposition, with patriotic bias, as Anglium, Scotium, and Hibernium!" [After Anglia, Scotia, and Hibernia, the latin names of England, Scotland, and Ireland, which formed the United Kingdom]. Later, Norman Collie and Ramsay have demonstrated that argon is a simple substance, and not a mixture (note, see also Fontani et al. 2003).


Immediately after the discovery of Neon, Ramsay and Travers thought to have discovered a new element, which they named Metargon. In his Nobel lecture Ramsay said about this:

"We were at this time misled in supposing that a second gas was present, showing a spectrum different from that of argon, but possessing almost the same density; we regarded it as bearing to argon the same relation as that of nickel to cobalt; and we christened it «metargon». This gas subsequently turned out to be argon in the main, but to contain carbon monoxide, owing to the use of an impure specimen of phosphorus containing carbon in removing the oxygen; but it gave us a great deal of trouble to make sure that it was not a new individual." (note).

Further reading
  • Mary Elvira Weeks, Discovery of the Elements, comp. rev. by Henry M. Leicester (Easton, Pa.: Journal of Chemical Education, 1968), pp. 756-757.
  • Edelgasse. Gmelins Handbuch der anorganische Chemie, 8. Aufl.; System-Nummer 1 (1926).
  • Univ. Coll. London, Dept. of Chemistry, The Discovery of Argon (source of both illustrations).
  • Marco Fontani, Mariagrazia Costa, and Arnaldo Cinquantini, Dagli aloni pleocroici alla nascita della Terra. RICH-MAC Magazine 85, La Chimica e l'Industria, Ottobre 2003, pp. 65-67.
  • Carmen J. Giunta, The Discovery of Argon: a Case Study in Scientific Method, Presented at the 211th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, March 24, 1996. (on-line)

Sources Index of Persons Index of Alleged Elements