The sole aim of technology is to find ways that can make the life of people easier. For this purpose we work with whatever element we can get and figure out a way for its application. One of such elements that has found multiple avenues of application is xenon. It is used in gas discharges, anesthesia, imaging, lasers, photography flashlights and in the study of the solar system (yes, you read that right). Its uasage has become increasinly common as its properties have been fully expounded. In this article we will shed some light on the different areas it benefits.
It is used in gas discharges that are used to conduct lab controlled experiments. This resulted in the discovery of xenon powered lights, the most popular field of application perhaps. Apart from being used as focus lights and short arc lamps, it is increasingly being adopted by the automotive industry for designing unique and signature look headlamps. The gas is burned in presence of other elements in high pressure sodium lamps (as it does not interfere with the chemical reaction going on). Additionally, it is also used to improve laser gain (by adding helum to the mixture).
From dermatology to surgery, it has found a wide array of application. It is used as an anesthesia (in select European markets) alongside being used for imaging (heart, lungs, brain). Application on human body has found that it can increase the flow of red blood cells in the body. Because this gas is soluble in water and hydrophobic solvents, it can image various soft living tissues. Some sportsperson have used it for doping purposes, on inhaling, it increases the flow of red blood cells in the body which allows them to undertake greater exertion.
Making the most of it:
In spite of the fact that it is widely used in an array of activities, there are not many people who can recognize its contribution beyond car head lamps. One of the factors that has made it so popular is the low long term cost. In industrial and medical uses, it prevents complications. As it is inert in nature it does not react readily with other elements. Its isotopes have been derived to help with the study of everything from jet propellers to nuclear fission. Significant studies are underway to determine more ways it can be put into use.