Difference Wiki

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

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on January 8, 2024
Noble gases are a group of chemically inert elements in Group 18 of the periodic table, while inert gases refer broadly to any gases that resist chemical reactions.

Key Differences

Noble gases, specifically found in Group 18 of the periodic table, include helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon. These gases are characterized by their complete electron shells, making them highly stable and unreactive. Inert gases, on the other hand, encompass a broader category that includes noble gases but can also refer to other gases like nitrogen under certain conditions that are not chemically active.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 08, 2024
All noble gases share a lack of reactivity due to their full valence electron shells, making them nearly inert in chemical terms. They rarely form compounds under normal conditions. Inert gases, as a category, are defined by their resistance to chemical reactions, but this can vary based on environmental conditions; for example, nitrogen can react under high pressure and temperature.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 08, 2024
Noble gases are used in lighting, welding, and as inert environments for chemical reactions due to their stability. Helium, for example, is used in balloons and as a cooling medium. Inert gases, including noble gases, are utilized in various industrial processes for their non-reactivity, such as argon in welding and nitrogen in food packaging to prevent oxidation.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 08, 2024
Noble gases were discovered and isolated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, leading to the completion of the periodic table. Their discovery was significant due to their unique chemical inertness. The term 'inert gas' has been used historically to describe gases that do not undergo chemical reactions under set conditions, but its definition can be broader than that of noble gases.
Huma Saeed
Jan 08, 2024
Noble gases are odorless, colorless, and tasteless, and they exist as monatomic gases under standard conditions. While inert gases share these physical properties, the term can include diatomic gases like nitrogen, which, under most conditions, does not react readily despite not being a noble gas.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 08, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Definition

Specific group of elements in Group 18
Broad category of non-reactive gases
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 08, 2024

Chemical Reactivity

Almost completely non-reactive
Generally non-reactive, varies by condition
Huma Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Examples

Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon, Radon
Includes noble gases and others like Nitrogen
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 08, 2024

Typical Uses

Lighting, cooling, inert atmospheres
Industrial processes, welding, food packaging
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024

Electron Configuration

Full valence shells
Not necessarily full valence shells
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Noble Gas and Inert Gas Definitions

Noble Gas

Noble gases are known for their lack of chemical reactivity.
Neon signs utilize the inert nature of the noble gas neon.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Inert Gas

Inert gases maintain stability under specific conditions.
Nitrogen remains inert in most industrial processes.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Noble Gas

Noble gases have complete valence electron shells.
Helium, a noble gas, is inert due to its full electron shell.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Inert Gas

Inert gases can be monatomic or diatomic.
Helium, an inert and monatomic gas, is used in balloons.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023

Noble Gas

Noble gases rarely form compounds.
Xenon, a noble gas, forms compounds only under extreme conditions.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023

Inert Gas

Inert gases include a wide range of non-reactive gases.
Argon, used in welding, is an inert gas.
Huma Saeed
Dec 23, 2023

Noble Gas

Noble gases are characterized by their extremely low reactivity.
Radon, despite being radioactive, is a chemically inert noble gas.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023

Inert Gas

Inert gases are used for their non-reactivity in various industries.
Argon, an inert gas, provides a protective atmosphere in welding.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023

Noble Gas

Noble gases are the elements in Group 18 of the periodic table.
Argon, a noble gas, is often used in light bulbs.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Inert Gas

Inert gases are those that resist chemical reactions.
Nitrogen, an inert gas, is used in food packaging.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

FAQs

What is a noble gas?

A noble gas is an element in Group 18 of the periodic table, known for its chemical inertness.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 08, 2024

What are common uses of noble gases?

Noble gases are used in lighting, as coolants, and in creating inert atmospheres for sensitive chemical processes.
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024

Can noble gases form compounds?

Noble gases rarely form compounds due to their full electron shells, although some compounds of heavier noble gases exist.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 08, 2024

Why are noble gases called 'noble'?

Noble gases are called 'noble' due to their remarkable resistance to forming chemical bonds, similar to how noble metals resist corrosion.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 08, 2024

How are noble gases different from other gases?

Noble gases differ in their complete valence electron shells, making them highly unreactive compared to other gases.
Huma Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Can inert gases be used in welding?

Yes, inert gases like argon are commonly used in welding to prevent unwanted chemical reactions.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 08, 2024

What makes noble gases ideal for neon signs?

Noble gases like neon emit distinctive colors when electrically excited, making them ideal for lighting and neon signs.
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024

What is an inert gas?

An inert gas is any gas that is not chemically reactive under certain conditions, including noble gases and gases like nitrogen.
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024

Are all noble gases also inert gases?

Yes, all noble gases are considered inert gases due to their low reactivity.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 08, 2024

How were noble gases discovered?

Noble gases were discovered in the late 19th century through the study of air's components and the development of spectroscopy.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024

Why is radon, a noble gas, considered hazardous?

Radon is hazardous due to its radioactivity, which poses health risks, particularly lung cancer.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 08, 2024

Do inert gases have any biological role?

Most inert gases do not play a biological role due to their non-reactivity, though they can have physiological effects at high pressures.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024

Is helium the lightest noble gas?

Yes, helium is the lightest noble gas and the second lightest element.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 08, 2024

Are inert gases safe to breathe?

Inert gases are non-toxic, but they can displace oxygen, leading to asphyxiation in confined spaces.
Harlon Moss
Jan 08, 2024

Can inert gases be found in the Earth's atmosphere?

Yes, some inert gases, like argon and nitrogen, are major components of the Earth's atmosphere.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024

Are noble gases used in medical applications?

Yes, noble gases like helium are used in medical applications, such as in respiratory treatments.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024

How does xenon, a noble gas, form compounds?

Xenon can form compounds under extreme conditions due to its relatively large atomic size, which allows it to participate in chemical reactions.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 08, 2024

Can inert gases be liquified?

Yes, inert gases can be liquified, but they require very low temperatures due to their low boiling points.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 08, 2024

What is the most abundant noble gas in the atmosphere?

Argon is the most abundant noble gas in the Earth's atmosphere.
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024

Are inert gases used in space exploration?

Yes, inert gases like xenon are used in ion propulsion systems for space exploration.
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024
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.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons