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The Element Helium


"The Atom"

What is Helium? Periodic Table Group and Classification of the Helium Element
Elements can be classified based on their physical states (States of Matter) e.g. gas, solid or liquid. This element is a solid. This element is a gas. Helium is classified as an element in the 'Noble Gases' section which can be located in group 18 of the Periodic Table.

The term 'Noble gas' derives from the Old High German word Edelgas from 'edili' meaning "noble". The name 'noble gases' is an allusion to the old, similarly termed 'Noble Metals'. The Noble Metals included  gold, silver and platinum which were so called due to their long association with the aristocracy. For additional facts and information about the element refer to Helium Properties.

The Properties of the Helium Element
Symbol of Element : He
Atomic Number :  2
Atomic Mass: 4.002602 amu
Melting Point: -272.0 C - 1.15 K
Boiling Point: -268.6 C - 4.549994 K
Number of Protons/Electrons : 2
Number of Neutrons : 2
Crystal Structure: Hexagonal
Density @ 293 K: 0.1785 g/cm3
Color : colorless

What is Helium as on the Periodic Table? Definition of the Helium Element
A colorless, odorless inert gaseous element occurring in natural gas and with radioactive ores.  It is less soluble in water than any other gas. It is used as a component of artificial atmospheres and laser media, as a refrigerant, as a lifting gas for balloons, and as a super fluid in cryogenic research. Helium was the first gas used for filling balloons and dirigibles. The Atomic Number of this element is 2 and the Element Symbol is He.

What is Helium? Origin / Meaning of the name Helium
The name originates from the Greek word 'helios' meaning sun  because the element was discovered by spectroscopy during a solar eclipse in the sun's chromosphere by the French astronomer Pierre-Jules-Cesar Janssen.

Facts about the Discovery and History of the Helium Element
Helium was first detected during a solar eclipse in 1868 as a bright yellow line in the spectrum of the chromosphere of the Sun, by French astronomer Pierre Janssen . It was discovered by Sir William Ramsey in 1895. The English astronomer Norman Lockyer and the English chemist Edward Frankland named the element.

Sir William Ramsay (1852 - 1916)
Sir William Ramsay discovered the noble gases and received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1904 "in recognition of his services in the discovery of the inert gaseous elements in air". These elements included Argon, Neon, Krypton and Xenon. Ramsay also isolated helium which had been observed in the spectrum of the sun but had not been found on earth. In 1910 Ramsay also made and characterized radon.

What is Helium? Occurrence of the Helium Element
Helium exists only as a monatomic gas

Abundances of the element in different environments
% in Universe 23%
% in Sun 23%
% in Meteorites N/A
% in Earth's Crust 5.510-7%
% in Oceans 7.210-10%
% in Humans N/A

Medical Uses of Helium - Health and Treatments
Interesting information on the Medical Uses of Helium, Health and Treatments. The main medical uses of helium are in respiratory therapy and testing. It is also used in the prevention of nitrogen narcosis and decompression sickness. Helium-oxygen therapy is the administration of a mixture of helium and oxygen.

Associated Uses of Helium
Component of artificial atmospheres and laser media
Lifting gas for balloons
Superfluid in cryogenic research
Deep sea diving
Helium balloons, tanks, neon laser
People sometimes breathe in Helium as a joke to make their voices sound higher than they normally do

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