Ramsay discharge tubes
These discharge tubes are among the collection of equipment used by Sir William Ramsay in his discovery of the noble gases. Ramsay was Professor of Chemistry at UCL from 1887 to 1913, and it was during this time that he completed his ground-breaking work.
After first discovering argon, he realised that a group of similar gases must fill a gap in the periodic table of the elements and he went on to rapidly discover terrestrial helium, neon, xenon and krypton. He was awarded in the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1904 for his work, making him the first British person to receive this prize.