Noble gases are unreactive because they have the full complement of electrons in their outermost energy levels. This full valence shell gives these atoms the most stable configuration they can achieve. Elements react with one another to gain a full complement of electrons like the noble gases.
All of the noble gases, except for helium, contain eight electrons in their outermost energy levels. Helium has two electrons in its outermost energy level, the maximum number that its single energy level can hold. Because these elements already contain the maximum number of electrons in their outermost energy levels, they do not need to find other atoms with which to form compounds. The noble gases were given this name because they do not interact much with other elements. Because of their inherent stability, noble gases can be found in their free forms in nature.Learn More
Noble gases do not form compounds because their full valence shells make them stable and chemically nonreactive. Atoms form compounds to achieve a full valence shell that leaves them more stable.Full Answer >
Noble gases are inert due to their complete electron shells. Their stable atomic structure makes the energy required to add or remove an electron prohibitively high, so the noble gases do not form compounds in natural conditions.Full Answer >
The most characteristic property of the noble gases is their extremely low chemical reactivity as compared to other elements. The noble gases all have a full set of electrons in their outer shells, so they have little tendency to trade electrons with other elements to form compounds.Full Answer >
Neon (Ne) is the most common noble gas used in neon signs. The term "neon signs" comes from its frequent use as a lighting agent.Full Answer >