To find where the missing xenon could be scientists

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To find where the missing Xenon could be, scientists searched in the molten rock between the Earth’s crust and the core to see if Xenon could be “squirreled away” in pockets in the minerals. Researchers attempted to dissolve Xenon and Argon in perovskite at extreme high temperatures to see if it was possible that minerals could absorb Xenon gas. Another theory was whether most Xenon could have flowed into space, because it could not dissolve in the Earth’s minerals when meteorites hit the Earth more than 4 billion years ago. All the other noble gases supposedly seeped out of the minerals and flowed into the minerals, but Xenon was nowhere to be found. Scientists also suggested that the “puny” gravitational field of the Earth failed to hold Xenon in the atmosphere. Thus Xenon flowed into outer space and some of it could be found in the Mars atmosphere. Upon reading the intriguing title of the article, I absolutely thought that there was a conspicuous decrease of the level of Xenon in the past few decades, or years. However after reading the whole article, it became obvious that Xenon has not really “disappeared” from the Earth, nor is “hiding” anywhere. The purpose of the article was not to answer the question as to where all the Xenon has gone, or what could have happened to decrease the level of Xenon. The purpose was to entice its reader into learning more about the noble gas elements. The author makes a versatile list of possibilities of where the element could be found to captivate readers of
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different interests of science. Doing this, he has definitely showed that to answer such a simple question as “Where is the Xenon on Earth?” comes with many other answers, curiosity, and perseverance to gain this knowledge. I definitely feel that the author has accomplished this goal in captivating the readers’ interest and demonstrating the determination of a true scientist.
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  • Fall '12
  • DuaneWeisshaar
  • Chemistry, Ozone layer, John Dalton, Xenon

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