What are the chemical properties of helium


properties

Gaseous chemical element, symbol He, atomic number 2 and atomic weight 4.0026. Helium is a noble gas and also the second lightest element. The main sources of helium in the world are found in large natural gas fields in the United States.

Helium is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. Compared to other gases, it is the least soluble element in water. It is the least reactive element and it generally does not form compounds. The density and viscosity of the helium vapor are very low. The thermal conductivity and the heat capacity are exceptionally high. Helium can be liquefied, but its condensation temperature is the lowest of any known substance.

Helium was the first gas that was used to fill the balloons. This application was for altitude research and for meteorological balloons. The main use of helium is as an inert shielding gas in oxy-fuel welding. Its greatest potential is found in applications at very low temperatures. Helium is the only cooling device that can withstand temperatures of 15K
(-434 ° F). The main application of the low temperature is in the development of the superconductivity state in which the resistance to the flow of electricity is almost zero. Further exemplary applications are: gas in the liquid propellants of rockets, in the helium-oxygen mixtures for divers, functional fluid in nuclear reactors.

Helium is formed in bulk through the natural radioactive decay of the heavier elements. Most of the helium migrates to the surface and is released into the atmosphere.

Health effects of helium

Effects under load: The substance can enter the body through inhalation. Inhalation: high-pitched voice, nausea, dullness, headache, or choking (check the oxygen levels in the air before venturing into these areas). If the liquid comes into contact with skin and eyes, frostbite can occur.

Environmental effects of helium

So far, no environmental effects of helium are known, which is why they will not be discussed further at this point.

Helium and water

Back to the periodic table of the elements