What is helium and uses of helium

Helium is a chemical element with the symbol "He" and atomic number 2. It is a colourless, odorless and tasteless gas that is lighter than air. Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, but it is relatively rare on Earth.

What is helium and  uses of helium

Helium is notable for its low boiling and melting points, the lowest of all the elements. This makes it particularly useful for a variety of applications, most famously for filling balloons and airships due to its low density. It is also used in a variety of scientific, industrial and medical applications, including:

  • Cryogenics: Helium is used as a cryogenic coolant for applications such as cooling superconducting magnets in MRI machines, particle accelerators, and research laboratories.

  • Welding: In certain applications, helium can be used as a shielding gas in welding processes, especially when high heat inputs are required.

  • Diving: Deep sea diving uses a mixture of helium and oxygen, known as heliox, to prevent the harmful effects of nitrogen narcosis at greater depths.

  • Research: Helium is used in laboratory settings for cooling and research purposes, such as in the study of superconductivity and low-temperature physics.

  • Balloons and Airplanes: As mentioned earlier, the low density of helium makes it suitable for filling balloons and airplanes, giving them buoyancy.

  • Gas Chromatography: Helium is used as a carrier gas in gas chromatography, a technique used to separate and analyze chemical compounds in a mixture.

It is worth noting that helium is a non-renewable resource, and its availability is a concern as it is often extracted from natural gas reserves. Once released into the atmosphere, helium is very light and can escape Earth's gravitational pull, making it difficult to capture and reuse. As a result, efforts have been made to promote helium conservation and responsible use.