Facts about Helium

Helium Facts

Posted by Admin / in Science Facts

facts about helium

Helium Atom

Facts about Helium Gas

  • Helium is an element on the Periodic Table of Elements.

  • Helium has the chemical symbol He.

  • Many people know about helium because it is so light. Stores sell balloons filled with helium. Helium is much lighter than normal air, so the balloons float off the ground. In fact, if you do not tied down a helium balloon it will float away. Helium is the second lightest element behind hydrogen.

  • Helium was named after Helios, the Greek god of the sun.

  • Behind hydrogen, helium is the second most abundant element that we know of in the universe.

  • Helium was officially discovered by a French Astronomer, Pierre-Jules-Cesar Janssen while studying the sun using a device called a spectroscope in 1868. It was the only element to be discovered in space before it was discovered on Earth.

  • Helium on Earth was not found until 1895, when Sir William Ramsay and Sir William Crookes discovered helium on earth when experimenting with a mineral which contained uranium. It was then added to the Periodic Table of Elements.

  • There is some helium in our atmosphere although it is colorless and odorless and there is no easy way to separate helium from normal air in the atmosphere. Helium does not stay in the atmosphere very long. It eventually floats off into space.

  • Helium is much more abundant under the ground. Helium is found in large natural gas deposits underground.

  • Natural gas can contain up to 7 percent helium.

  • Helium is separated from natural gas through a process called fractional distillation.

Helium Gas Chemistry Facts

  • Helium is a noble gas. Helium has a full outer electron shell and is a very stable element, meaning it does not donate, accept or share electrons.

  • Helium does not burn like many other gases.

  • If the temperature of helium is lowered to an extremely cold temperature it becomes a gas. At -452.09°F (-268.94°C) helium becomes a gas. This is only a slightly higher temperature than absolute zero, the coldest temperature possible, which is -459.67°F (-273.15°C). Helium has the lowest boiling point of any known element.

  • Helium can be turned into a solid. It becomes a solid at -457.87°F (-272.15°C) only when it is also under extremely amounts of pressure. When it is solid, helium is a clear material.

  • Scientists have found that when helium is a liquid it can conduct heat 600 times better than copper.

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