The name Helium has been derived from the Greek word ‘Helios’ that means Sun. Helium is the second most common element in the universe after hydrogen. It was discovered in 1868 by French and English astronomers Pierre Janssen and Norman Lockyer. Atomic number of Helium is 2 and its symbol is He. This element is colourless, odourless, tasteless, non-toxic and inert.
Quick Facts: –
- Atomic weight of helium is 4.002602.
- Helium makes about 24% of the entire mass of universe.
- It is a part of the group of noble gases. Other noble gases are neon, argon, krypton, radon and xenon.
- The world’s largest supplier of helium is the United States of America.
- Helium gas is lighter then the air. This is the reason balloons filled with helium float.
- This gas is so light that earth’s gravity cannot hold on to it.
- Helium and Neon are the only two natural elements that have never been observed bonding to another element in a compound.
- Melting point of helium is -272.2°C. It is the lowest of any element.
- Helium is fairly rare on earth because it is so light that it eventually moves into the outer space.
- There are total 8 known isotopes of helium. Helium-4 is the most common isotope of helium.
- Helium is the only liquid that cannot be solidifies by lowering down the temperature.
- All natural gases contain traces of helium gas.
- A mixture of helium and oxygen is used to create an artificial atmosphere for divers.