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The most notable chemical property of xenon is its lack of reactivity. Xenon is in the noble gas family, also called the inert gases. Xenon was thought to be completely inert until 1962 when British chemisty Neil Bartlett synthesized the compound `XePtF_6` . Since then then following xenon-containing compounds have been synthesized:
`XeF_2` , `XeF_4` , `XeF_6` , `XeO_3` and `XeOF_4`
Xenon occurs in trace amounts in the atmosphere. There are no know uses for its compounds, and elememtal xenon has few uses. Its main use is in blue car headlights.
The reason for Xenon's relative inertness is its stable electron configuration. All of the elements in its family, Group 18 (VIII A), have an electron configuration ending in `(n)s^2(n)p^6` and thus a have complete octet. Other elements react so as to achieve this stable electron configuration.
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