Chemistry

The Discoverer of Helium



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Helium is many things. It is an element, it is a noble gas, and it is also colorless and orderless. On the periodic table, its atomic number is two. Helium was discovered on August eighteenth in eighteen sixty eight. It was discovered by a French astronomer named Pierre Janssen during a total solar eclipse in Guntur, India. On march twentieth eighteen ninety five an Engilsh chemist named William Ramsay isolated helium on earth. He did this by using the mineral cleveite with mineral acids. Many other scientists from all over the world, including Britain, the United States and Russia helped to further the discovery of helium.

Helium is part of the group of gases called noble gases. These elements belong to group zero. These elements are sometimes called inert gases because they do not participate in any chemical reactions. The electron configurations for the four elements of noble gases are all full, as opposed to other elements whose electron configuration is not always full. Helium is the least reactive member of the noble gases family. It is also the least reactive of all elements. Because of helium's relatively low molar (atomic) mass, in the gas phase its thermal conductivity, specific heat, and sound conduction velocity are all greater than any other gas except hydrogen.

Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, right after hydrogen. In the universe helium can be located in the stars, where it is formed by hydrogen by nuclear fission. According to the Big Bang model of the early development of the universe, the vast majority of helium was formed during Big Bang nucleosynthesis, from one to three minutes after the Big Bang. Most of the helium on earth is a result of radio active decay. n the Earth's crust, the concentration of helium is 8 parts per billion. In seawater, the concentration is only 4 parts per trillion. There are also small amounts in mineral springs, volcanic gas, and meteoric iron. The greatest concentrations on the planet are in natural gas, from which most commercial helium is derived.

Helium is used in many places today, but one of the most visual places where is it used is in hot air balloons. These balloons are used in many places. These are used in many festivals for celebration and they are also used for recreation. Helium is also used to fill airships. One of the most notable of the airships would be the Hindenburg. This was an early airship that exploded into flames. This fatal accident killed thirty six people of ninety six on board.

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