In 1962, Neil Bartlett published a terse note in Proc. Chem. Soc. eradicating the long held dogma that noble gases are inert and cannot form stable compounds. This historical discovery has revolutionized our views on chemistry and has given rise to thousands of papers on noble gas chemistry. The fact that his proposed reaction product “Xe+[PtF6]−” has eluded experimental detection for more than half a century and actually was a mixture of XeF+ and Xe2F3+ salts does not diminish the enormous impact of his discovery. A plausible explanation for the failures to observe “Xe+[PtF6]−” experimentally is presented.
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