How did all the xenon vanish?

During our chemical education in school, most of us heard of noble gases just as elements that are completely unreactive. Furthermore they are quite scarce, thus, there is no need for further mentioning them. They cannot be of much use anyway.

In fact, most of us use noble gases in our everyday life, e.g. they are essential in fluorescent lamps. And the heavier noble gases could even be brought to reaction by chemists. Still the chemistry of those elements is not of much interest outside the scientific community. But it was found out that one of those gases – xenon – shows a decreasing concentration in the earth’s atmosphere.

Detektor.fm asked Andreas Neidlinger, Editor of the Journal of Unsolved Questions “How did all the xenon vanish?”.

Listen to the podcast here.

For further information, please refer to:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja110618g

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v471/n7337/full/471138d.html