The name helium came from the Greek word for sun, helios. It was discovered when acid was added to uranium material and created an unreactive gas (helium). William Ramsey is credited with isolating the gas.
Properties Gas Colorless Melting point: 0.95K (-272.2 degrees Celsius) Boiling point: 4.2K (-268.9 degrees Celsius) Density at 293K: 0.1785 g/cm3 The density is a very big factor in many of this elements common uses. Helium has 8 isotopes whose half-lives are known. Of these two are stable, 3He and 4He. Over 99.999% of naturally occurring helium is in the form of 4He. There are no radioactive isotopes.
Availability Most of the element is found in natural gas deposits. This is helium4. Helium3 on the other hand is virtually impossible to find on Earth but can be found abundantly on..........the moon. Extract it from natural gas by cooling off all of the other gases until they become liquid and helium is the only gas left. $5.2 per 100g
Uses Helium is used for filling balloons (blimps) and for pressurizing liquid fuel rockets. No stable compounds are formed with helium
Interesting facts When helium is cooled to 2 degrees above absolute zero it becomes a superfluid . (Click superfluid to learn more.) Scientists are currently trying to produce a He3 based fusion power that will help with energy costs. This involves of course, going to the moon to collect He3. Click here to read more about it.