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Atomic symbol Ar
Atomic number 18
Classification Non-metal
Atomic mass 39.9 amu
Other Information
Date of discovery 1894
Name of discoverer Sir William Ramsey
Name origin From the Greek argon.
Uses Lighting
Obtained from Air

Argon (Ar) is the most common of the noble gases. It is an inert component which comprises 0.934% of the Earth's atmosphere.[1] It is a common shielding agent in welding or melting of metal, preventing reaction and subsequent oxidation of the hot metal with atmospheric air. It was given its' name due to the fact that alchemists in the Midle Ages thought that the element Argon helped in the transmuting of other metals into silver (though it did not work, of course); Argon is similar to the genitive case of the latin word for silver - augia, the genetive of which is augio.


  1. The New American Desk Encyclopedia, Penguin Group, 1989