A wealth of fundamental information regarding the Earth and solar system is based upon observations of the highly volatile elements He, Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe. At first, this may seem surprising, considering that these elements are generally thought to reside almost entirely in the atmosphere, and so are considered strongly ‘atmophile.’ However, increasingly sophisticated analytical techniques have provided the means for precisely measuring their abundances in a wide range of geological and cosmochemical materials. Fittingly, these elements are known collectively as the rare gases, reflecting their general scarcity in geological materials. It is this feature that continues to provide...

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