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Chemical element, chemical symbol Ne, atomic number 10. One of the noble gases, neon is colourless, odourless, tasteless, and completely unreactive. It occurs in minute amounts in the atmosphere and is obtained by fractional distillation of liquefied air. When under low pressure, it glows a bright orange-red if an electric current is passed through it. It was discovered in 1898, and since the 1920s its chief use has been in luminous tubes and bulbs.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on neon, visit Britannica.com.