What Is Radon?

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Radon is one of a group of gases called inert gases, and it is naturally radioactive. Learn more about radon, the heaviest of the inert gases, with help from a science teacher in this free video on physical science.

Part of the Video Series: Physical & Life Science
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Steve Jones and I'm going to tell you what radon is. Well radon is actually one of a group of gases called inert gases and they start with helium which everybody knows is the one you put in balloons to make them rise. Neon, which we put in light bulbs and things of that kind. Argon also in light bulb. Krypton and xenon are quite unusual and finally radon. Radon is a very big nucleus, has a very big nucleus, it's actually near the same size as uranium, it's one of the biggest elements and radon is radioactive naturally radioactive and it has a half life of 3.82 days. This is a naturally occurring element radon and it appears in a radioactive series as a decayed product of other radioactive materials. As I said, it's an inert gas, that is radon does not react with other materials very much. In fact it's very difficult to get these gases to react at all but sometimes when you do produce something which is actually a compound involving these, they're extremely stable so radon is no different from that except that when it decays, it decays as other radioactive materials do eventually going down the series towards lead which is stable at the bottom of the series. So what is radon? The answer is it's an inert gas, it's the heaviest of the inert gases and it's once of the biggest atoms that exists.

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