Helium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Helium is a chemical element with symbol He and atomic number 2. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, monatomic gas that heads the noble gas group in the periodic table. Its boiling and melting points are the lowest among the elements and it exists only as a gas except in extreme conditions. Helium is the second lightest element and is the second most abundant element in the observable universe, being present at about 24% of the total elemental mass, which is more than 12 times the mass of all the heavier elements combined. Its abundance is similar to this figure in the Sun and in Jupiter. This is due to the very high nuclear binding energy (per nucleon) of helium-4 with respect to the next three elements after helium. This helium-4 binding energy also accounts for why it is a product of both nuclear fusion and radioactive decay. Most helium in the universe is helium-4, and is believed to have been formed during the Big Bang. Large amounts of new helium are being created by nuclear fusion of hydrogen in stars. Helium is named for the Greek God of the Sun,

Helium 2 He
↓ Ne hydrogen ← helium → lithium Helium in the periodic table ↑

Appearance colorless gas, exhibiting a red-orange glow when placed in a high-voltage electric field

Spectral lines of helium General properties Name, symbol, number helium, He, 2 Pronunciation Element category Group, period, block Standard atomic weight /ˈhiːliəm/ HEE -lee-əm noble gases 18 (noble gases), 1, s 4.002602(2)

Electron configuration 1s2 2



Helium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Helios. It was first detected as an unknown yellow spectral line signature in sunlight during a solar eclipse in 1868 by French astronomer Jules Janssen. Janssen is jointly credited with detecting the element along with Norman Lockyer. Jannsen observed during the solar eclipse of 1868 while Lockyer observed from Britain. Lockyer was the first to propose that the line was due to a new element, which he named. The formal discovery of the element was made in 1895 by two Swedish chemists, Per Teodor Cleve and Nils Abraham Langlet, who found helium emanating from the uranium ore cleveite. In 1903, large reserves of helium were found in natural gas fields in parts of the United States, which is by far the largest supplier of the gas today. Helium is used in cryogenics (its largest single use, absorbing about a quarter of production), particularly in the cooling of superconducting magnets, with the main commercial application being in MRI scanners. Helium's other industrial uses—as a pressurizing and purge gas, as a protective atmosphere for arc welding and in processes such as growing crystals to make silicon wafers—account for half of the gas produced. A wellen.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium

History Naming Discovery First isolation after Helios, Greek god of the Sun Pierre Janssen, Norman Lockyer (1868) William Ramsay, Per Teodor Cleve, Abraham Langlet (1895) Physical properties Phase Density gas (0 °C, 101.325 kPa) 0.1786 g/L 0.125 g·cm−3 (at 2.5 MPa) 0.95 K,  −272.20 °C,  −457.96 °F 4.22 K,  −268.93 °C,  −452.07 °F 5.19 K, 0.227 MPa 0.0138 kJ·mol−1 0.0829 kJ·mol−1 5R/2 = 20.786 J·mol−1·K−1 Vapor pressure (defined by ITS-90) P (Pa) at T (K) 1 10 100 1.23 1k 1.67 10 k 2.48 100 k 4.21

Liquid density at m.p. 0.145 g·cm−3 Liquid density at b.p. Melting point Boiling point Critical point Heat of fusion Heat of vaporization Molar heat capacity

Atomic properties Oxidation states Electronegativity Ionization energies 0 no data (Pauling scale) 1st: 2372.3 kJ·mol−1 2nd: 5250.5 kJ·mol−1 Covalent radius Van der Waals radius 28 pm 140 pm Miscellanea Crystal structure hexagonal close-packed

Magnetic ordering Thermal conductivity Speed of sound CAS registry number

diamagnetic[1] 0.1513 W·m−1·K−1 972 m·s−1 7440-59-7

is important to researchers studying quantum mechanics (in particular the property of superfluidity) and to those looking at the phenomena.wikipedia. In scientific research. from which it is extracted commercially by a low-temperature separation process called fractional distillation. quality of the human voice.2 Modern extraction and distribution 5.1. the free encyclopedia known but minor use is as a Most stable isotopes lifting gas in balloons and Main article: Isotopes of helium airships.1 Helium I state 2.org/wiki/Helium 3/25 .3.1 The helium atom 2. such as superconductivity.3 Minor commercial and recreational uses 6.3.2 Helium II state 3 Isotopes 4 Compounds 5 Occurrence and production 5.999863%* changes the timbre and *Atmospheric value.3.4 Scientific uses en.wikipedia. Contents 1 History 1. abundance may differ elsewhere. Most terrestrial helium present today is created by the natural radioactive decay of heavy radioactive elements (thorium and uranium.Wikipedia.1 Scientific discoveries 1.1 Industrial leak detection 6. and superfluid phases 2.1 Controlled atmospheres 6. inhaling a small volume 0.3 Solid.2 Extraction and use 2 Characteristics 2. although there are other examples).3.org/w/index. the V · T · E (//en. On Earth it is relatively rare—0. This radiogenic helium is trapped with natural gas in concentrations up to 7% by volume.000137%* of helium temporarily 4He 4He is stable with 2 neutrons 99.00052% by volume in the atmosphere.3 Conservation advocates 6 Applications 6.php?title=Template:Infobox_helium&action=edit) behavior of the two fluid · ref phases of helium-4 (helium I and helium II). liquid. as the alpha particles emitted by such decays consist of helium-4 nuclei.3.[2] As with any gas iso NA half-life DM DE (MeV) DP with differing density from 3He 3He is stable with 1 neutron air.3 Minor uses 6.2 Flight 6.2 The related stability of the helium-4 nucleus and electron shell 2.8/19/13 Helium .1.1 Natural abundance 5.1 Helium in quantum mechanics 2.2 Gas and plasma phases 2.3. that temperatures near absolute zero produce in matter.2 Gas tungsten arc welding 6.

he noticed a bright yellow line that matched the D3 line observed in the spectrum of the Sun. after separating nitrogen and oxygen from the gas liberated by sulfuric acid. Hillebrand.wikipedia.[16] He tried to solidify it by further reducing the temperature but failed because helium does not have a triple point temperature at which the solid. Italian physicist Luigi Palmieri detected helium on Earth. It was independently isolated from cleveite in the same year by chemists Per Teodor Cleve and Abraham Langlet in Uppsala. English astronomer Norman Lockyer observed a yellow line in the solar spectrum. Onnes' student Willem Hendrik Keesom was en. Lockyer and English chemist Edward Frankland named the element with the Greek word for the Sun. which he named the D3 Fraunhofer line because it was near the known D1 and D2 lines of sodium. when he analyzed the lava of Mount Vesuvius.[5][10][11][12] These samples were identified as helium by Lockyer and British physicist William Crookes.org/wiki/Helium 4/25 .[15] Spectral lines of helium Sir William Ramsay. the discoverer of terrestrial helium In 1907.49 nanometers in the spectrum of the chromosphere of the Sun. liquid.8/19/13 Helium . and gas phases are at equilibrium. In 1908.[4][13][14] Helium was also isolated by the American geochemist William Francis Hillebrand prior to Ramsay's discovery when he noticed unusual spectral lines while testing a sample of the mineral uraninite. India. Ernest Rutherford and Thomas Royds demonstrated that alpha particles are helium nuclei by allowing the particles to penetrate the thin glass wall of an evacuated tube.[6][7][8] In 1882. Sweden. who collected enough of the gas to accurately determine its atomic weight.Wikipedia. then creating a discharge in the tube to study the spectra of the new gas inside. On October 20 of the same year. attributed the lines to nitrogen.[3][4] This line was initially assumed to be sodium. for the first time. through its D3 spectral line. Scottish chemist Sir William Ramsay isolated helium on Earth by treating the mineral cleveite (a variety of uraninite with at least 10% rare earth elements) with mineral acids. 1868 as a bright yellow line with a wavelength of 587. The line was detected by French astronomer Jules Janssen during a total solar eclipse in Guntur.[5] He concluded that it was caused by an element in the Sun unknown on Earth.[9] On March 26. 1895. the free encyclopedia 7 Inhalation and safety 8 See also 9 References 10 Bibliography 11 External links History Scientific discoveries The first evidence of helium was observed on August 18. however. His letter of congratulations to Ramsay offers an interesting case of discovery and near-discovery in science. helium was first liquefied by Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes by cooling the gas to less than one kelvin. ἥλιος (helios). Ramsay was looking for argon but.

Virginia. Helium use in the United States in 1965 was more than eight times the peak wartime consumption.[23] This enabled the United States to become the world's leading supplier of helium. David M. The goal was to supply barrage balloons with the non-flammable. Lee.[18] This phenomenon is related to Bose-Einstein condensation. but at temperatures much closer to absolute zero.[5] Because of the Helium Control Act (1927). Cady and McFarland discovered that 1. The phenomenon in helium-3 is thought to be related to pairing of helium-3 fermions to make bosons.[21][22] This showed that despite its overall rarity on Earth. 72% nitrogen.S. helium was concentrated in large quantities under the American Great Plains. the same phenomenon was observed in helium-3.[19] Extraction and use After an oil drilling operation in 1903 in Dexter. a phenomenon now called superfluidity. and 12% an unidentifiable gas. together with the prohibitive cost of the gas. to Bolling Field in Washington.. lighter-than-air gas. Texas. by American physicists Douglas D. produced a gas geyser that would not burn. was not developed in time to be significant during World War I. In 1972.[17] In 1938. Richardson.[25] The government of the United States set up the National Helium Reserve in 1925 at Amarillo.[4][20] With further analysis. Following a suggestion by Sir Richard Threlfall. using low-temperature gas liquefaction. the Bureau built a 425-mile (684 km) pipeline from Bushton. he discovered that the gas consisted of. Russian physicist Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa discovered that helium-4 has almost no viscosity at temperatures near absolute zero. with the help of chemists Hamilton Cady and David McFarland.8/19/13 Helium . The helium mass spectrometer was also vital in the atomic bomb Manhattan Project. D. and Robert C. the Hindenburg. Helium was primarily used as a lifting gas in lighterthan-air craft. Kansas. in analogy to Cooper pairs of electrons producing superconductivity. Helium use following World War II was depressed but the reserve was expanded in the 1950s to ensure a supply of liquid helium as a coolant to create oxygen/hydrogen rocket fuel (among other uses) during the Space Race and Cold War. to connect those plants with the government's partially en. the United States Navy sponsored three small experimental helium plants during World War I. as well as demands for shielded arc welding.000 cubic feet) of 92% helium was produced in the program even though less than a cubic meter of the gas had previously been obtained. on December 1. This use increased demand during World War II. A total of 5.org/wiki/Helium 5/25 . the U.84% of the gas sample was helium. like all German Zeppelins. Navy's C-7. Kansas state geologist Erasmus Haworth collected samples of the escaping gas and took them back to the University of Kansas at Lawrence where. Bureau of Mines arranged for five private plants to recover helium from natural gas.S.Wikipedia. 1% hydrogen.wikipedia.[26] After the "Helium Acts Amendments of 1960" (Public Law 86–777). For this helium conservation program. Osheroff. with the goal of supplying military airships in time of war and commercial airships in peacetime. the U. the free encyclopedia eventually able to solidify 1 cm3 of helium in 1926 by applying additional external pressure.700 m3 (200.[5] Some of this gas was used in the world's first helium-filled airship. 1921. which banned the export of scarce helium on which the US then had a production monopoly. production continued. by volume. available for extraction as a byproduct of natural gas.[24] Although the extraction process. Kansas. which flew its maiden voyage from Hampton Roads. was forced to use hydrogen as the lift gas.C. 15% methane (a combustible percentage only with sufficient oxygen).

[36] The reserve was expected to run out of helium in 2018. Algeria. New helium plants were scheduled to open in 2012 in Qatar.[37] In such models it is found that each electron in helium partly screens the nucleus from the other. Poland. not the 2 charges of a classic "bare" helium nucleus.69 units.[27] By 1995. Such computational chemistry methods have been used to create a quantum mechanical picture of helium electron binding which is accurate to within < 2% of the correct value.Wikipedia. and other nations produced the remainder.wikipedia. producing 17 million cubic meters (600 million cubic feet) began operation. even to solve the system of one nucleus and two electrons.org/wiki/Helium 6/25 . so that the effective nuclear charge Z which each electron sees.[35] As of 2012 the United States National Helium Reserve accounted for 30 percent of the world's helium. Qatar. had risen to above 15 million kg per year. following the hydrogen atom. two additional plants.95% helium were available. no system consisting of more than two particles can be solved with an exact analytical mathematical approach (see 3-body problem) and helium is no exception. In the mid-1990s. Algeria. with enough production to cover all of Europe's demand. by 2000. As in Newtonian mechanics. near Amarillo. is about 1. Russia.[30] Helium produced between 1930 and 1945 was about 98.3% pure (2% nitrogen). Helium is composed of two electrons in atomic orbitals surrounding a nucleus containing two protons along with some neutrons.8/19/13 Helium . in a few computational steps. en. and the other in Skikda. helium is the second simplest atom to model. a new plant in Arzew. commercial quantities of Grade A 99. Algeria quickly became the second leading producer of helium.[31] For many years the United States produced over 90% of commercially usable helium in the world. a billion cubic meters of the gas had been collected and the reserve was US$1. numerical mathematical methods are required. which was adequate for airships. This helium-nitrogen mixture was injected and stored in the Cliffside gas field until needed. the consumption of helium within the U.[34] In the 2002 to 2007 period helium prices doubled. Meanwhile.[4][28] The resulting "Helium Privatization Act of 1996"[29] (Public Law 104–273) directed the United States Department of the Interior to empty the reserve. a small amount of 99. both helium consumption and the costs of producing helium increased. In 1945. with sales starting by 2005. when it then was further purified. were built. Texas. Other large reserves were in the Hugoton in Kansas. United States and nearby gas fields of Kansas and the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma. Russia and the United States state of Wyoming but they were not expected to ease the shortage.[33] Through this time. one in Ras Laffan.9% helium was produced for welding use. By 1949. the free encyclopedia depleted Cliffside gas field. while extraction plants in Canada.S.4 billion in debt.[32] In 2004–2006.[36] Despite that a proposed bill in the United States Senate would allow the reserve to continue to sell the gas. prompting the Congress of the United States in 1996 to phase out the reserve. Thus.[36] Characteristics The helium atom Main article: Helium atom Helium in quantum mechanics In the perspective of quantum mechanics.

before the early expanding universe cooled to the temperature and pressure point where helium fusion to carbon was no longer possible.8/19/13 Helium . this process requires three helium nuclei striking each other nearly simultaneously (see triple alpha process). carbon. and also leaving few to form heavier atoms such as lithium. For example. beryllium. none of them possessing orbital angular momentum. producing the lowest melting and boiling points of all the elements. . Helium-4 nuclear binding per nucleon is stronger than in any of these elements (see nucleogenesis and binding energy) and thus no energetic drive was available. but it is a very small fraction. or boron. Adding another of any of these particles would require angular momentum and would release substantially less energy (in fact. so that all these fermions fully occupy 1s orbitals in pairs. almost all first compound atomic nuclei to form were helium-4 nuclei. It was barely energetically favorable for helium to fuse into the next element with a lower energy per nucleon.wikipedia. The unusual stability of the helium-4 nucleus is also important cosmologically: it explains the fact that in the first few minutes after the Big Bang. High-energy electron-scattering experiments show its charge to decrease exponentially from a maximum at a central point. There was thus no time for significant carbon to be formed in the few minutes after the Big Bang. However. no nucleus with five nucleons is stable). to make elements 3. Some stable helium-3 is produced in fusion reactions from hydrogen. accounts for the ease of helium-4 production in atomic reactions involving both heavy-particle emission. Depicted are the nucleus (pink) and the electron cloud distribution (black).Wikipedia. It is also partly responsible for the fact that the alpha particle is by far the most common type of baryonic particle to be ejected from atomic nuclei. This arrangement is thus energetically extremely stable for all these particles. as the "soup" of free protons and neutrons which had initially been created in about 6:1 ratio cooled to the point that nuclear binding was possible. and this stability accounts for many crucial facts regarding helium in nature. before they could beta-decay.org/wiki/Helium 7/25 The helium atom. the particular energetic stability of the helium-4 nucleus. produced by similar effects. compared with the highly favorable helium-4. and each cancelling the other's intrinsic spin. although for more complicated nuclei this is not always the case. So tight was helium-4 binding that helium-4 production consumed nearly all of the free neutrons in a few minutes. This symmetry reflects similar underlying physics: the pair of neutrons and the pair of protons in helium's nucleus obey the same quantum mechanical rules as do helium's pair of electrons (although the nuclear particles are subject to a different nuclear binding potential). due to lack of intermediate elements. and fusion. in other words. 4 and 5. and also the lack of interaction of helium atoms with each other. the free encyclopedia The related stability of the helium-4 nucleus and electron shell The nucleus of the helium-4 atom is identical with an alpha particle. This left the early universe with a very similar ratio of hydrogen/helium as is observed today (3 parts en. the stability and low energy of the electron cloud state in helium accounts for the element's chemical inertness. alpha decay is far more common than cluster decay. In a similar way. The nucleus (upper right) in helium-4 is in reality spherically symmetric and closely resembles the electron cloud. once helium had been formed. exactly as does the charge density of helium's own electron cloud. The stability of helium-4 is the reason hydrogen is converted to helium-4 (not deuterium or helium-3 or heavier elements) in the Sun.

even when the gas is only partially ionized.[39] and one of the Binding energy per nucleon of common isotopes.wikipedia. with nearly all the neutrons in the universe trapped in helium-4.4394.org/wiki/Helium 8/25 . resulting in very high electrical conductivity. and sound speed in the gas phase are all greater than any other gas except hydrogen. by contrast. with properties quite different from those of atomic helium.[5] Once precooled below this temperature.2372 x2 /10−5 . and for carbon-based or other life) have thus been created since the Big Bang in stars which were hot enough to fuse helium itself. respectively.[41] Helium has a negative Joule-Thomson coefficient at normal ambient temperatures. 0. helium can be liquefied through expansion cooling. All elements other than hydrogen and helium today account for only 2% of the mass of atomic matter in the universe. In a plasma. and also due to the small size of helium atoms. helium's diffusion rate through solids is three times that of air and around 65% that of hydrogen.[5] Helium is the least water soluble monatomic gas. All heavier elements (including those necessary for rocky planets like the Earth. Gas and plasma phases Helium is the second least reactive noble gas. specific heat. and 0. least water soluble of any gas (CF4 . The binding energy per particle of helium-4 is significantly larger than all nearby nuclides.[38] It is inert and monatomic in all standard conditions. its thermal conductivity. helium's electrons are not bound to its nucleus. For similar reasons. and C4 F8 have lower mole fraction solubilities: 0.Wikipedia. SF6 . versus helium's 0. Most extraterrestrial helium is found in a plasma state. and thus the second least reactive of all elements.3802. the particles interact with the Earth's magnetosphere giving rise to Birkeland currents and Helium discharge tube shaped like the element's atomic symbol en. makes up about 23% of the universe's ordinary matter—nearly all the ordinary matter that is not hydrogen. Only below its Joule-Thomson inversion temperature (of about 32 to 50 K at 1 atmosphere) does it cool upon free expansion. The charged particles are highly influenced by magnetic and electric fields. the free encyclopedia hydrogen to 1 part helium-4 by mass). For example.[40] and helium's index of refraction is closer to unity than that of any other gas.70797 x2 /10−5 ).8/19/13 Helium . in the solar wind together with ionized hydrogen. Helium-4. Because of helium's relatively low molar (atomic) mass. meaning it heats up when allowed to freely expand. after neon.

[4] However. For example.009 g/cm3 . This helium is not only liquid.[5] Helium II state Liquid helium below its lambda point begins to exhibit very unusual characteristics.5 MPa) is 0. less is known about such properties in the isotope. when measurements were done between two moving discs. called helium I. When helium II boils. This may be an effect of its boiling point being so close to absolute zero.214 ± 0.[43] It is often hard to distinguish solid from liquid helium since the refractive index of the two phases are nearly the same.8/19/13 Helium . as a result.15 K and 66 atm.125 g/mL (between about 0 and 4 K). applying pressure in a laboratory can decrease its volume by more than 30%. and superfluid phases Main article: Liquid helium Unlike any other element. a viscosity en.[5] Quantum mechanics is needed to explain this property and thus both types of liquid helium are called quantum fluids. preventing random molecular motion (thermal energy) from masking the atomic properties.[5] Like other cryogenic liquids. Solid helium requires a temperature of 1–1.[42] Solid.org/wiki/Helium 9/25 Liquefied helium. See superfluid. the zero point energy of the system is too high to allow freezing. but has been cooled to the point of superfluidity.187 ± 0.5 K (about −272 °C or −457 °F) and about 25 bar (2. Helium I has a gas-like index of refraction of 1. helium will remain liquid down to absolute zero at normal pressures. liquid. Below the lambda point.[5] This colorless liquid has a very low viscosity and a density of 0. helium I boils when it is heated and contracts when its temperature is lowered. the isotope helium-4 exists in a normal colorless liquid state.wikipedia.145–0. but it is highly compressible. in a state called helium II. Helium-3 also has a superfluid phase. meaning they display atomic properties on a macroscopic scale. when it flows through capillaries as thin as 10−7 to 10−8 m it has no measurable viscosity. a quantum mechanical state (see: macroscopic quantum phenomena) of matter with strange properties . the projected density at 0 K and 25 bar (2. the free encyclopedia the aurora. however. The energy to drive this process is supplied by the potential energy of the falling helium.[47] which is only one-fourth the value expected from classical physics. Solid helium has a density of 0.006 g/cm3 at 1. to empty out of the container.[44] With a bulk modulus of about 27 MPa[45] it is ~100 times more compressible than water.Wikipedia.22 kelvins and above the lambda point of 2. due to its high thermal conductivity it does not bubble but rather evaporates directly from its surface.[5] Helium II is a superfluid.1768 kelvins. . and it expands as the temperature is lowered further.[46] Helium I state Below its boiling point of 4.026 which makes its surface so hard to see that floats of styrofoam are often used to show where the surface is.5 MPa) of pressure. This is a direct effect of quantum mechanics: specifically. The solid has a sharp melting point and has a crystalline structure. The drop of liquid at the bottom of the glass represents helium spontaneously escaping from the container over the side. helium does not boil. but only at much lower temperatures.

[5] Helium II also exhibits a creeping effect.[49] The thermal conductivity of helium II is greater than that of any other known substance. but only helium-3 and helium-4 are stable. [5] Isotopes Main article: Isotopes of helium There are eight known isotopes of helium. Unless the container is carefully constructed. helium-4. the free encyclopedia comparable to that of gaseous helium was observed. it moves at 20 meters per second at 1.[48] In the fountain effect. is produced on Earth by alpha decay of heavier radioactive elements. the helium II would creep out and escape.[4] Unlike most elements. superfluid helium leaks through and increases the pressure. This film is called a Rollin film and is named after the man who first characterized this trait. Most materials that conduct heat well have a valence band of free electrons which serve to transfer the heat. which are superfluid and flow with exactly zero viscosity. if it were not sealed. the helium II will creep along the surfaces and through valves until it reaches somewhere warmer. liquid helium below the lambda point is viewed as containing a proportion of helium atoms in a ground state. Rollin.8 K through helium II as waves in a phenomenon known as second sound. The most common isotope. In order to maintain the equilibrium fraction of superfluid helium. the alpha particles that emerge are fully ionized helium-4 nuclei. due to the different formation processes.[52] These waves are known as third sound. the helium II moves along the surface. causing liquid to fountain out of the container. where it will evaporate.[54] en. If the interior of the container is heated. Helium-4 is an unusually stable nucleus because its nucleons are arranged into complete shells. it is very difficult to confine liquid helium. The flow of heat is governed by equations that are similar to the wave equation used to characterize sound propagation in air.[5] This is because heat conduction occurs by an exceptional quantum mechanism. In this model. Helium II has no such valence band but nevertheless conducts heat well. helium II will creep along surfaces in order to reach an equal level. Helium II will escape from a vessel that is not sealed by creeping along the sides until it reaches a warmer region where it evaporates. The Rollin film also covers the interior of the larger container. helium's isotopic abundance varies greatly by origin. there is one He atom for every million He atoms. It was also formed in enormous quantities during Big Bang nucleosynthesis.[53] Unlike ordinary liquids. Current theory explains this using the two-fluid model for helium II. which behave more like an ordinary fluid.8/19/13 Helium . a million times that of helium I and several hundred times that of copper. but rather than gravity. Waves propagating across a Rollin film are governed by the same equation as gravity waves in shallow water. When heat is introduced. It moves in a 30 nm-thick film regardless of surface material. the levels in the two containers will equalize. a chamber is constructed which is connected to a reservoir of helium II by a sintered disc through which superfluid helium leaks easily but through which non-superfluid helium cannot pass. When a surface extends past the level of helium II. and a proportion of helium atoms in an excited state.[5][50][51] As a result of this creeping behavior and helium II's ability to leak rapidly through tiny openings. after a short while. Bernard V.wikipedia. against the force of gravity.Wikipedia. In the Earth's 3 4 atmosphere. the superfluid helium changes to non-superfluid helium. the restoring force is the van der Waals force.org/wiki/Helium 10/25 .

CsFHeO and N(CH3 )4 FHeO. HeH . sulfur and phosphorus when it is subjected to a glow discharge.[62] Calculations show that two new compounds containing a helium-oxygen bond could be stable. iodine. such as helium fluorohydride (HHeF) which would be analogous to HArF. If confirmed by experiment.[58][59] A number of people. and therefore can exist only in isolation.[5] Compounds See also: Noble gas compound Helium has a valence of zero and is chemically unreactive under all normal conditions. which has a large number of band systems. Liquid helium-4 can be cooled to about 1 kelvin using evaporative cooling in a 1-K pot. fluorine. which has a lower boiling point. starting with Gerald Kulcinski in 1986.[5] Dilution refrigerators use this immiscibility to achieve temperatures of a few millikelvins. much higher than the ca.[5] Theoretically. helium has metastable energy levels that allow it to remain ionized in an electrical discharge with a voltage below its ionization potential. Similar cooling of helium-3. as it will protonate any molecule or counteranion it comes into contact with. most of it since Earth's formation. It is possible to produce exotic helium isotopes. but is extremely reactive—it is the strongest Brønsted acid known.8 K separate into two immiscible phases due to their dissimilarity (they follow different quantum statistics: helium-4 atoms are bosons while helium-3 atoms are fermions). as a product of nuclear fusion. and HeD hydride ion. Thus in the interstellar medium. and HgHe. and the molecular ions He2 .wikipedia. discovered in 2000.01 ppm.[5] Helium can form unstable compounds.[55] He is much more abundant in 3 4 stars. the free encyclopedia Helium-3 is present on Earth only in trace amounts.Wikipedia.8 second. mine lunar regolith and use the helium-3 for fusion. have been created this way.2 kelvin in a helium-3 refrigerator. He2 . the only remaining element with no known stable compounds would be neon.[56] Rocks from the Earth's crust have isotope ratios varying by as much as a factor of ten. such as lunar and asteroid regolith.org/wiki/Helium 11/25 . which rapidly decay into other substances. HHe+.[61] HeH+ is also stable in its ground state. which is apparently held together only by polarization forces. and these ratios can be used to 3 investigate the origin of rocks and the composition of the Earth's mantle. can achieve about 0.[60] have proposed to explore the moon. are derivatives of a metastable [F– HeO] anion first theorized in 2005 by a group from Taiwan. The molecular compounds + 2+ + + Structure of the helium HeNe. the proportion of He to He is around 100 times higher than on Earth.8/19/13 Helium . other true compounds may also be possible. The shortest-lived heavy helium isotope is helium-5 with a half-life of 7. The Moon's surface contains helium-3 at concentrations on the order of 0.[57] Extraplanetary material. known as excimers.[64] en. Equal 3 4 mixtures of liquid He and He below 0. This technique has also allowed the production of the neutral molecule He2 . 5 ppt found in the Earth's atmosphere. with tungsten. predicted using theory.[44] It is an electrical insulator unless ionized. have trace amounts of helium-3 from being bombarded by solar winds. Helium-7 and helium-8 are created in certain nuclear reactions.[63] Two new molecular species. As with the other noble gases. though some falls to Earth trapped in cosmic dust. HgHe10 .6 × 10−22 s.[5] Helium-6 and helium-8 are known to exhibit a nuclear halo. Helium-6 decays by emitting a beta particle and has a half-life of 0.[55] Trace amounts are also produced by the beta decay of tritium. Helium-7 also emits a beta particle as well as a gamma ray. or else is a plasma for another reason. and WHe2 . to electron bombardment.

Occurrence and production Natural abundance Although it is rare on Earth. these substances have distinct properties and a definite composition. from which most commercial helium is extracted. Structure of the suspected fluoroheliate anion.[67][68] The concentration is low and fairly constant despite the continuous production of new helium because most helium in the Earth's atmosphere escapes into space by several processes. it is formed by the nuclear fusion of hydrogen in proton-proton chain reactions and the CNO cycle. the concentration is only 4 parts per trillion. In a final production step.[4] The vast majority of helium was formed by Big Bang nucleosynthesis one to three minutes after the Big Bang. As such. low temperature and high pressure are used to liquefy nearly all the other gases (mostly nitrogen and methane). which can contain up to 7% helium. the helium stays inside. helium is extracted by fractional distillation from natural gas. Helium is found in large amounts in minerals of uranium and thorium. Because helium is trapped in the subsurface under conditions that also trap natural gas.8/19/13 Helium . In this way an estimated 3000 metric tons of helium are generated per year throughout the lithosphere. because they emit alpha particles (helium nuclei. and meteoric iron. New Mexico. the concentration of helium is 8 parts per billion. This is en.2 parts per million. like all stoichiometric chemical compounds. Helium is the second most abundant element in the known Universe (after hydrogen). OHeF-. helium and other lighter gases are the most abundant elements. pitchblende. the free encyclopedia Helium has been put inside the hollow carbon cage molecules (the fullerenes) by heating under high pressure.Wikipedia. carnotite and monazite.[66] Many fullerenes containing helium-3 have been reported. most of the helium that is produced is liquefied via a cryogenic process. There are also small amounts in mineral springs.[65] If helium-3 is used. a part of the upper atmosphere. volcanic gas.[69][70][71] In the Earth's heterosphere. The concentration varies in a broad range from a few ppm up to over 7% in a small gas field in San Juan County. He2+) to which electrons immediately combine as soon as the particle is stopped by the rock. constituting 23% of its baryonic mass. Most helium on Earth is a result of radioactive decay. Although the helium atoms are not attached by covalent or ionic bonds. The resulting crude helium gas is purified by successive exposures to lowering temperatures. the greatest natural concentrations of helium on the planet are found in natural gas. including cleveite.[72][73][74] In the Earth's crust. part of stellar nucleosynthesis. measurements of its abundance contribute to cosmological models. it can be readily observed by helium nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. in which almost all of the remaining nitrogen and other gases are precipitated out of the gaseous mixture. the concentration of helium by volume is only 5.[77] Since helium has a lower boiling point than any other element. In stars. In seawater.[5] The principal impurity in Grade-A helium is neon.org/wiki/Helium 12/25 . usually resulting in 99. When chemical derivatives of these fullerenes are formed. The endohedral fullerene molecules formed are stable up to high temperatures.[54] In the Earth's atmosphere.995% pure Grade-A helium. Activated charcoal is used as a final purification step.[75][76] Modern extraction and distribution For large-scale use.wikipedia.

see pie chart below) this is enough helium for about 58 years of U.860 m3 (approx.S.[82] Helium must be extracted from natural gas because it is present in air at only a fraction of that of neon. 2012).[81] At rates of use at that time (72 million SCM per year in the U. as the largest liquid helium containers have more than five times the capacity of the largest gaseous helium tube trailers. Diffusion of crude natural gas through special semipermeable membranes and other barriers is another method to recover and purify helium. Congress' decision to sell off the country's large helium stockpile by 2015. most helium is extracted from natural gas of the Hugoton and nearby gas fields in Kansas.Wikipedia.S. It is estimated that if all neon production were retooled to save helium.[79] In the United States.8/19/13 Helium .[85] According to Richardson. only 1% of the world's helium demands could be satisfied by re-tooling all air distillation plants. but this process is a completely uneconomic method of production. Clarke & Glowacki (2012) also proposed to create an International Helium Agency (IHA) to build a sustainable market for this precious commodity. Of the 2008 world helium total production of en.S. the U. low density. In gaseous form. and Texas.g.[33][78] In 2008. Conservation advocates According to helium conservationists like Robert Coleman Richardson. Oklahoma.[84] Helium is commercially available in either liquid or gaseous form. or in large ISO containers which have nominal capacities as large as 42 m3 (around 11. the current price needs to be multiplied by 20 to eliminate the excessive wasting of helium.S. low solubility.[86] Applications While balloons are perhaps the most well-known use of helium.org/wiki/Helium 13/25 . 282 standard cubic feet). Nuttall. Poland and Qatar. but since 2005 this reserve is presently being depleted and sold off.000 U. It is estimated that the resource base for yet-unproven helium in natural gas in the U. the free market price of helium has contributed to "wasteful" usage (e. the free encyclopedia necessary for applications requiring liquid helium and also allows helium suppliers to reduce the cost of long distance transportation.[33] Much of this gas was once sent by pipeline to the National Helium Reserve.. although factors in saving and processing impact effective reserve numbers. small quantities of helium are supplied in high-pressure cylinders holding up to 8 m3 (approx.S. and most of the remainder from Russia. about 1000 times the proven reserves. it can be supplied in small insulated containers called dewars which hold up to 1. while large quantities of high-pressure gas are supplied in tube trailers which have capacities of up to 4. in such gas well complexes.2 billion SCM).[80] In 1996.wikipedia. for helium balloons). and less than this (perhaps 80% of the time) at world use rates. yet the demand for it is far higher. use. they are a minor part of all helium use. high thermal conductivity. such as its low boiling point. that 0. Prices in the 2000s have been lowered by U. In their book.000 standard cubic feet). As a liquid.[28] Helium is used for many purposes that require some of its unique properties. is 31– 53 trillion SCM. Similarly. or inertness. had proven helium reserves. of about 147 billion standard cubic feet (4.S.000 liters of helium. the Future of helium as a natural resource (Routledge. 10% from Algeria.1% of the world's helium demands would be satisfied. gallons). 172. approximately 169 million standard cubic meters (SCM) of helium were extracted from natural gas or withdrawn from helium reserves with approximately 78% from the United States.[83] Helium can be synthesized by bombardment of lithium or boron with high-velocity protons.

Because helium diffuses through solids three times faster than air. controlled by the United States Geological Survey. The measurement procedure is normally automatic and is called helium integral test.wikipedia. uses by category magnets in modern MRI scanners. Other helium is to cool the superconducting MRI magnets. high speed of sound. even at the leak rates as small as 10−9 mbar·L/s (10−10 Pa·m3 /s).8/19/13 Helium . in 1996. but helium is used instead of cheaper argon especially for welding materials that have higher heat conductivity. Minor uses Industrial leak detection One industrial application for helium is leak detection. Because of its inertness. fractional helium use by category.[4] A number of inert shielding gases are used in gas tungsten arc welding. A simpler procedure is to fill the tested object with helium and to manually search for leaks with a hand-held device.org/wiki/Helium 14/25 .[90] Gas tungsten arc welding Main article: gas tungsten arc welding Helium is used as a shielding gas in arc welding processes on materials that at welding temperatures are contaminated and weakened by air or nitrogen. and in gas chromatography. in titanium and zirconium production.S. it is also useful in supersonic wind tunnels[89] and impulse facilities.[92] en. it is used as a tracer gas to detect leaks in high-vacuum equipment (such as cryogenic tanks) and high-pressure containers. like aluminium or copper. thermally and calorically perfect nature.Wikipedia. the free encyclopedia about 32 million kg (193 million standard cubic meters) helium per year. the largest use (about 22% of the total in 2008) is in cryogenic applications. maintenance of Estimated U. which is then evacuated and filled with helium.[44] because it is inert. atmospheres.[91] The tested object is placed in a chamber.[87] Other major uses (totalling to about 78% of use in 1996) were pressurizing and purging systems. and high value of the heat capacity ratio. were relatively minor fractions. and The largest single use of liquid Most of the cryogenic use is for superconducting welding. most of which involves cooling the superconducting magnets in medical MRI scanners.[88] Controlled atmospheres Helium is used as a protective gas in growing silicon and germanium crystals. The helium that escapes through the leaks is detected by a sensitive device (helium mass spectrometer).

[97] Helium-neon lasers.org/wiki/Helium 15/25 . and synthetic materials.[93] Flight A dual chamber helium leak detection machine Because of its low density and incombustibility.[100][101] en. It is also used to purge fuel and oxidizer from ground support equipment prior to launch and to pre-cool liquid hydrogen in space vehicles. before they were almost universally replaced by cheaper diode lasers. While helium has documented permeation constants (thus a calculable permeation rate) through glasses.8/19/13 Helium . mixed with a heavier gas such as xenon. had various practical applications which included barcode readers and laser pointers. where helium is used as an ullage medium to displace fuel and oxidizers in storage tanks and to condense hydrogen and oxygen to make rocket fuel. the free encyclopedia Helium leaks through cracks should not be confused with gas permeation through a bulk material.[98] The inertness of helium has environmental advantages over conventional refrigeration systems which contribute to ozone depletion or global warming.[99] Scientific uses The use of helium reduces the distorting effects of temperature variations in the space between lenses in some telescopes.000 m3 (13 million cubic feet) of helium to launch. Another minor use is in rocketry. helium is the gas of choice to fill airships such as the Goodyear blimp.[44] Minor commercial and recreational uses For its low solubility in nervous tissue. due to its extremely low index of refraction. and because it does not form radioactive isotopes under reactor conditions. Because it is lighter than air. helium is used as a heat-transfer medium in some gas-cooled nuclear reactors.[94][95] At depths below 150 metres (490 ft) small amounts of hydrogen[citation needed ] are added to a helium-oxygen mixture to counter the effects of high-pressure nervous syndrome.[citation needed ] helium has the advantage of being nonflammable (in addition to being fire retardant). heliox and heliair are used for deep diving to reduce the effects of narcosis. inert gases such as helium will not permeate most bulk metals.Wikipedia. is useful for thermoacoustic refrigeration due to the resulting high heat capacity ratio and low Prandtl number. the Saturn V booster used in the Apollo program needed about 370.[91] Helium.[96] At these depths the low density of helium is found to considerably reduce the effort of breathing. a type of low-powered gas laser producing a red beam. helium mixtures such as trimix. For example.[4] For its inertness and high thermal conductivity. ceramics. airships and balloons are inflated with helium for lift. While hydrogen gas is approximately 7% more buoyant. neutron transparency.wikipedia.[5] This method is especially used in solar telescopes where a vacuum tight telescope tube would be too heavy.

the higher resonant frequencies cause a change in timbre. one in the USA[107] in January and another in Northern Ireland in November. there were two cases in 2010. when helium is inhaled there is a corresponding increase in the resonant frequencies of the vocal tract. As examples of applications.[102] Inhalation and safety Neutral helium at standard conditions is non-toxic. The speed of sound in helium is nearly three times the speed of sound in air. lowering resonant frequencies.[108] An Oregon girl died in 2012 from barotrauma. fatally rupturing lung tissue. a sort of reverse-anesthetic effect. This fact is utilized in the design of suicide bags.[105][106] However. The age of rocks and minerals that contain uranium and thorium can be estimated by measuring the level of helium with a process known as helium dating. The opposite effect.[4][5] Helium at low temperatures is used in cryogenics. plays no biological role and is found in trace amounts in human blood. Containers of helium gas at 5 to 10 K should be handled as if they contain liquid helium due to the rapid and significant thermal expansion that occurs when helium gas at less than 10 K is warmed to room temperature. the free encyclopedia Helium is a commonly used carrier gas for gas chromatography.[4][105] Breathing pure helium continuously causes death by asphyxiation within minutes. Inhaling helium can be dangerous if done to excess.[44] At high pressures (more than about 20 atm or two MPa). can be obtained by inhaling a dense gas such as sulfur hexafluoride or xenon. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN uses 96 metric tons of liquid helium to maintain the temperature at 1.[4][103] The fundamental frequency (sometimes called pitch) does not change. as the high flow rate can result in barotrauma.9 kelvin. such as in superconducting magnets for magnetic resonance imaging. adding a small amount of nitrogen to the mixture can alleviate the problem.org/wiki/Helium 16/25 . a mixture of helium and oxygen (heliox) can lead to high-pressure nervous syndrome. liquid helium is used to cool certain metals to the extremely low temperatures required for superconductivity. Because the fundamental frequency of a gas-filled cavity is proportional to the speed of sound in the gas.wikipedia. since this is produced by direct vibration of the vocal folds. duck-like vocal quality.8/19/13 Helium . with only two fatalities reported between 2000 and 2004 in the United States.[110] The safety issues for cryogenic helium are similar to those of liquid nitrogen. which is unchanged.Wikipedia. its extremely low temperatures can result in cold burns and the liquid-to-gas expansion ratio can cause explosions if no pressure-relief devices are installed. death caused by helium is rare.[106] However.[109] and an another girl from hypoxia later in the year. since helium is a simple asphyxiant and so displaces oxygen needed for normal respiration. Inhaling helium directly from pressurized cylinders is extremely dangerous. resulting in a reedy.[104] However.[111][112] See also en. and in certain cryogenics applications.

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S.cdc.hut.Wikipedia.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/helium/) beginning 1996: Helium (http://minerals.asp) (MP3) from the Royal Society of Chemistry's Chemistry World: Helium (http://www. Ultra Low Temperature Physics (http://www.pdf) Where is all the helium? (http://www.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/helium/mcs-2012-heliu.org/daily_edition/politics_and_policy/senate_bill_would_preserve_us_helium _reserve). By using this site.org/itselemental/ele002. 2012).html) With some history of helium.html) Chemistry in its element podcast (http://www.au/PHYSICS_!/SPEECH_HELIUM/speech. includes health and safety information regarding accidental exposures to helium More detail Helium (http://www.gov/niosh/ipcsneng/neng0603. U. Government's Bureau of Land Management: Sources.physics.du.html) with audio samples that demonstrate the unchanged voice pitch Article about helium and other noble gases (http://www.periodicvideos. Refinement. additional terms may apply.Helium (http://www.aga.html).rsc.htm) at The Periodic Table of Videos (University of Nottingham) Helium (http://boojum. Geological Survey publications on helium (http://minerals. en. Physics Today web site" (http://www. (http://www.lancs. the free encyclopedia External links General U.wikipedia. you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.phys.8/19/13 Helium . Retrieved from "http://en.mp3) International Chemical Safety Cards . includes pressure-temperature phase diagrams for helium-3 and helium-4 Lancaster University.rsc.unsw.php?title=Helium&oldid=568037363" Categories: Chemical elements Noble gases Coolants Helium Airship technology Nuclear reactor coolants Diving equipment This page was last modified on 11 August 2013 at 05:48.edu/~jcalvert/phys/helium.wikipedia.htm) Helium shortage Kramer.ac. David (May 22.S. and Shortage.com/videos/002.org/wiki/Helium 24/25 .html) at the Helsinki University of Technology.edu.org/w/index.fi/research/theory/helium.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2007/january/NR0701_2.blm.uk/research/condmatt/ult/index.physicstoday.nsf/0/BEF74B49AFC3099DC1257A2200 473157) Aga website It's Elemental – Helium (http://education.usgs.jlab. "Senate bill would preserve US helium reserve: Measure would give scientists first dibs on helium should a shortage develop.usgs. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.org/images/CIIE_Helium_48kbps_tcm18-133173.htm) – includes a summary of some low temperature techniques Miscellaneous Physics in Speech (http://www.com/international/web/lg/aga/like35agacom.org/chemistryworld/podcast/element.

a non-profit organization. the free encyclopedia Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation. en.wikipedia. Inc.8/19/13 Helium ..Wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium 25/25 .