How It Works
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Where are noble gases used?

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Arc lamps
A specialised type of gas-discharge lamp, arc lights pass electricity through a bulb full of ionised gas, such as xenon or argon. They’re used in IMAX cinemas among other places.

 

 

 

Blimps
Today, most blimps are filled with helium due to its lightness and incombustibility. Hydrogen was used originally but was phased out due to its high flammability.

 

 

MRI scanners
One of the most advanced pieces of medical equipment, magnetic resonance imaging scanners use liquid helium to cool the superconducting magnets inside.

 

 

 

 

Illuminated signs
Many illuminated signs and billboards utilise noble gases due to their ability to generate vibrant colours when ionised – neon lights being a prime example.

 

 

 

Refrigerants
Due to their incredibly low boiling points – for instance, argon boils at -186 degrees Celsius (-302.8 degrees Fahrenheit) – the Group 18 gases are often used in cryogenics.

 

 

 

Radiotherapy
Despite the noble gas radon being highly radioactive and able to cause cancer, it can also be used as part of radiotherapy treatments to control or kill malignant cells.