By Chemicool's calculations, that translates to 65 trillion metric tons — and the number increases over time as potassium-40 decays.According to the Jefferson National Linear Accelerator Laboratory, the properties of argon are: The first hint of argon's existence came in 1785, when British scientist Henry Cavendish reported a seemingly inert portion of air, according to the RSC.Cavendish wasn't able to figure out what this mysterious 1 percent was; the discovery would come more than a century later, in 1894.
Argon is an inert, colorless and odorless element — one of the Noble gases.
Used in fluorescent lights and in welding, this element gets its name from the Greek word for "lazy," an homage to how little it reacts to form compounds.
On Earth, the vast majority of argon is the isotope argon-40, which arises from the radioactive decay of potassium-40, according to Chemicool.
But in space, argon is made in stars, when a two hydrogen nuclei, or alpha-particles, fuse with silicon-32. (Isotopes of an element have varying numbers of neutrons in the nucleus.) Though inert, argon is far from rare; it makes up 0.94 percent of Earth's atmosphere, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).
The two shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1904 for the discovery.
Argon led to other eureka moments for Ramsey, as well.
While investigating the element, he also discovered helium, according to the Nobel Prize organization.
Realizing that related elements likely existed, he then found neon, krypton and xenon in quick succession.
Because argon is inert, it is used in industrial processes that require a non-reactive atmosphere.