Radon, with the chemical symbol Rn and atomic number 86, is a fascinating and mysterious noble gas. It was discovered in 1899 by the German-Polish physicist Friedrich Ernst Dorn, who initially referred to it as "emanation." However, it wasn't until 1908 that the British chemist Sir William Ramsay identified it as a distinct element and named it Radon.
Radon is relatively scarce on Earth and is produced through the radioactive decay of uranium and thorium in the ground. Due to its high density and radioactive properties, it finds applications in geology, particularly in the exploration of earthquake-prone areas.
The gaseous Radon is colorless and odorless, making its detection challenging. However, it has a short half-life, with the key isotopes Radon-222 and Radon-220 having half-lives of approximately 3.8 days and 55 seconds, respectively.