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Inert Gases vs. Noble Gases: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on December 18, 2023
Inert gases are elements or compounds that resist chemical reactions; noble gases are a group of inert gases in the Group 18 of the periodic table.

Key Differences

Inert gases, in general, are gases that do not easily participate in chemical reactions due to their stable electron configurations. Noble gases, a specific group within inert gases, belong to Group 18 of the periodic table and are characterized by their complete valence electron shells, which make them extremely stable and unreactive.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023
All noble gases are inert, not all inert gases are noble gases. Inert gases can include certain compounds that are chemically nonreactive, like nitrogen gas under standard conditions. Noble gases, however, are purely elemental and include helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023
Inert gases are used in a variety of industrial applications due to their non-reactivity, such as in welding and lighting. Noble gases have specific uses due to their unique properties; for example, helium is used in balloons and as a cooling medium, and neon is used in lighting.
Huma Saeed
Dec 18, 2023
The term 'inert gas' is sometimes used broadly to include any gas that is not chemically active under certain conditions, whereas 'noble gas' is a more specific term referring to the particular elements in the periodic table's Group 18.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Comparison Chart

Definition

Gases resistant to chemical reactions
Specific group of inert gases in Group 18
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023
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Composition

Can be elements or compounds
Purely elemental
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Examples

Includes noble gases and others like nitrogen
Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon, Radon
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Reactivity

Generally low, but varies
Extremely low, almost non-reactive
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Uses

Diverse, depending on the gas
Specific uses like in lighting and cooling
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Inert Gases and Noble Gases Definitions

Inert Gases

Inert gases can be elemental or compound gases.
Nitrogen gas is inert under normal conditions.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023
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Noble Gases

Noble gases have complete valence electron shells.
Neon lights are bright due to the noble gas neon.
Huma Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Inert Gases

Inert gases have stable electron configurations.
Nitrogen, often considered inert, makes up about 78% of Earth's atmosphere.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Noble Gases

Noble gases are in Group 18 of the periodic table.
Argon, a noble gas, is commonly used in fluorescent lights.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Inert Gases

Inert gases are gases that do not readily engage in chemical reactions.
Argon, an inert gas, is used to create an inert atmosphere for welding.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Noble Gases

Noble gases are a group of chemically nonreactive gases.
Helium, a noble gas, is used in balloons due to its lightness.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Inert Gases

Inert gases are used for their non-reactivity.
Inert gases are used in light bulbs to prevent filament oxidation.
Harlon Moss
Dec 08, 2023

Noble Gases

Noble gases have unique applications due to their properties.
Radon, a noble gas, is monitored due to its radioactivity.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Inert Gases

Inert gases can vary in their chemical inertness.
Some inert gases are used in fire suppression systems.
Harlon Moss
Dec 08, 2023

Noble Gases

Noble gases are elemental and extremely stable.
Xenon is used in flash lamps and arc lamps.
Harlon Moss
Dec 08, 2023

FAQs

What are inert gases?

Inert gases are elements that are very non-reactive due to their stable electron configuration.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Are all inert gases noble gases?

Yes, all noble gases are considered inert gases due to their low reactivity.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

What makes noble gases inert?

Their outermost electron shell is full, making them energetically stable and less likely to react with other elements.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Why are they called 'noble gases'?

They are called 'noble' because, like nobility, they are 'above' reacting with the commoners – other elements.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Where can you find inert gases in nature?

Inert gases are found in the Earth's atmosphere, with argon being the most abundant.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

How were noble gases discovered?

Noble gases were discovered in the late 19th century through the study of air's composition.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

What are noble gases?

Noble gases are a group of inert gases that include helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon.
Huma Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

What are the uses of noble gases?

Uses include lighting (neon lights), welding (argon), and cooling (helium).
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Is helium the lightest noble gas?

Yes, helium is the lightest noble gas and the second lightest element.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Are inert gases rare?

Some, like argon, are quite common, while others, like xenon, are relatively rare.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Can inert gases form compounds?

While traditionally considered non-reactive, under extreme conditions, some noble gases can form compounds.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Do inert gases have color or smell?

Inert gases are colorless and odorless at standard temperature and pressure.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Can noble gases conduct electricity?

In their standard state, they do not conduct electricity, but under certain conditions, they can form plasma that conducts electricity.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Are noble gases used in medicine?

Yes, for example, helium is used in respiratory treatments, and xenon is used in anesthesia.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Do inert gases react with water?

No, inert gases do not react with water under normal conditions.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

How do noble gases affect the environment?

Noble gases are environmentally inert and do not generally affect the environment.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Why is radon dangerous?

Radon is radioactive and can pose serious health risks, particularly lung cancer, when inhaled over long periods.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Why are noble gases used in light bulbs?

They are used in light bulbs to provide an inert environment, preventing filament degradation.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Are inert gases safe?

They are generally safe as they are non-toxic and non-reactive, but they can pose asphyxiation risks in high concentrations.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

How are noble gases obtained industrially?

They are typically extracted from the air through fractional distillation of liquefied air.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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