Why are helium and neon gases called #"inert gases"#?

1 Answer
Aug 22, 2015

Because no compounds of helium and neon are known.


The answer is simply because neither helium nor neon are known to bind to other elements (#He_2^+# is known, but it's not something you could put in a bottle). Therefore, they cannot share, accept, or donate electrons. The valence electrons of Group VIII, the Noble Gases, have a very stable closed shell configuration, which resists chemical change. Hence they are considered zerovalent.