Helium (He)

Derrick Littlefield

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How was Helium discovered?

Helium was first spotted in 1868 by the French scientist Janssen when he detected a new line of the solar spectrum. Later Lockyer and Frankland named the new element Helium after the Greek god Helios which means the sun. Later in 1895 Ramsey discovered Helium in a mineral of uranium.

What is Helium used for?

  • Helium is mainly used for filling balloons.
  • It is also used as a replacement for hydrogen in airships because it it completely nonflammable.
  • Helium is used in the medical field for MRI's and breathing assistants for premature infants.

Helium in nature

Helium was discovered in space. Because Helium is a noble gas it does not bond well. The Helium we use today is extracted from natural gas wells. Helium was created over time due to the radioactive decay of uranium.

Fun Facts!

  • When the Earth was created Helium did not exist instead it was found millions of years later in space.
  • There is only a fixed amount of Helium on Earth and we are running out because it is so light that the helium seeps through the atmosphere since the planet's formation.
  • There are eight isotopes of Helium.


Gray, Theodore. The Elements. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2009. Print.

"Helium Facts." Soft Schools. Softschools.com, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. <http://www.softschools.com/facts/periodic_table/helium_facts/178/>.

"Periodic Table of the Elements." Helium. LANS, 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. <http://periodic.lanl.gov/2.shtml>.

Pslawinski. "Helium." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation inc, 2005. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HeTube.jpg>.