Helium – He


What is Helium?

The only element in the periodic table found by an astronomer is helium, the lightest of the noble gases, which had actually been identified.

  • Helium is the element with the atomic number 2 that you can find on the upper right side of the periodic table. It is the top member of the noble gas family.
  • By Lockyer and Frankland, it was given the name, and it has one atomic orbital. Its name is a translation of the Greek word helios, which means sun. Before it was discovered, scientists were aware of the Sun’s tremendous helium content.
  • Since helium has two electrons in its outermost electron orbital, it is classified as an inert gas. Additionally, helium can be found in nuclear reactor coolants, compressed air tanks, and lasers.
  • Compared to all other elements, it has the lowest melting and boiling points. Helium is produced in substantial quantities in stars by the nuclear fusion of hydrogen.


The stable isotopes of helium are 3He and 4He. Helium-3 and helium-4 have abundances of 0.0002% and 99.9998%, respectively. In the Earth’s atmosphere, where the ratio of 4He to 3He atoms is roughly 1000000:1, this disparity in abundances can be seen.

Physical Properties of Helium

Helium (He)Physical Properties
Melting Point0.95 K (or -272.2oC)
Boiling Point4.222 K (or -268.928oC)
Density0.1786 g/L at STP; 0.145 g.cm-3 at its melting point
Critical Temperature and Pressure5.195 K; 0.227 MPa
Triple Point2.177 K; 5.043 kPa
Appearance (at STP)Colourless gas

Chemical Properties of Helium

Helium (He)Chemical Properties
Electron Configuration1s2
First Ionization Energy2372.3 kilojoules per mole
Second Ionization Energy5250.5 kilojoules per mole
Van der Waals Radius140 picometers
Enthalpy of Fusion0.0138 kilojoules/mole

Uses of Helium

  • Helium is mostly used in weather balloons and altitude studies.
    In autogenous welding, it serves as an inert protective gas.
    It is the only cooler that can reduce temperatures to below 15K (-434oF).
  • Additionally, silicon and germanium crystals are made using helium.
  • Helium is used in industry to identify pipeline leaks because it can diffuse through solids considerably more quickly than air can.
  • As a carrier gas, this element is also utilized in gas chromatography.
  • Liquid helium has several uses in cryogenics, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and superconducting magnets because of its low melting point.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What purpose serves helium?
Blimps, research balloons, and balloons for special occasions are all inflated with helium gas. For arc welding, pressurizing liquid rocket fuel tanks, and supersonic wind tunnels, it serves as an inert shield.

What are some fascinating helium facts?
He is the symbol for the chemical element helium, which is a colorless, flavorless, and odorless gas with an atomic number. After hydrogen, helium is the second most prevalent element in the universe, making up around 24% of its weight.

Helium is a type of element, right?
The chemical element helium (He), is classified as a noble gas in Group 18 of the periodic chart. Helium is the second lightest element after hydrogen and is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that becomes liquid at 268.9 degrees Celsius.

Why is the melting point of helium so low?
As a result, the noble gas atoms barely interact with one another, which results in their low boiling point. It’s vital to keep in mind that intermolecular forces increase with atomic size, which explains why helium boils less quickly than neon and why argon comes before it, among other things.

The use of helium in medicine
Asthma and emphysema are two respiratory disorders that can be treated using helium gas. Since it is utilized in MRI scanners and NMR spectrometers as a cooling medium for magnets and process utilization, liquid helium also serves a medicinal purpose.

Related Elements

About The Author

Knowledge Glow

I am Komal Gupta, the founder of Knowledge Glow, and my team and I aim to fuel dreams and help the readers achieve success. While you prepare for your competitive exams, we will be right here to assist you in improving your general knowledge and gaining maximum numbers from objective questions. We started this website in 2021 to help students prepare for upcoming competitive exams. Whether you are preparing for civil services or any other exam, our resources will be valuable in the process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts