Wanted: Helium

By: Cami Skop

Wanted For

Today helium is used in balloons as an inert gas when there would be risk of explosion with hydrogen. It is also used in some blimps and aircraft ties. Sometimes it is used to provide an inert atmosphere for delicate lab experiments such as growing crystals. During WWII, helium was popular in blimps because the price had dropped since WWI. Lastly, diving tanks are filled with helium because deep sea divers need to be heard, and helium results in a squeaky voice.


The symbol for helium is He, it comes from the Greek word Helios meaning sun. It doesn't go by any other names.


Helium is colorless because it is a gas. Its atomic mass is 4.00 and its atomic number is 2. Helium is a non-metal because it is part of the noble gas family. At room temperature this element is a gas.

First Arresting Officer

Helium was first discovered by a French astronomer named Pierre Jansenn in 1868. He saw a yellow line when looking out at the sun but thought nothing of it. Two months later Sir Norman Lockyer saw the same yellow line and joined with Edward Frankland. They decided that the line was a fingerprint of an unknown element.

Report of First Arrest

Helium was first discovered in the corona surrounding the sun and later was found in gases leaking out of Mount Vesuvius. Helium's presence on earth wasn't confirmed until 1895. The discovery is credited to Per Theodor Cleve and Nils Abraham Langer.

Last seen

Helium is in period one and in group eighteen. It is in the noble gas family. The element helium is found in the atmosphere because it is a gas. However, only .0005 percent of earth's atmosphere is helium.

Known Associates

Most of the time helium is extracted from natural gases. If the natural gas is cooled, it liquefies which makes it possible to separate the helium atoms from the natural gas. Once the liquid heats up to room temperature it converts back to a gas.

Warning Label

Most of the time helium is safe however if too much of it is inhaled it will replace oxygen in the lungs and can be deadly to the person.


Knapp, Brian. francium to Polonium. Danbury, CT: Grolier Educational, 2002. Print.

"Facts about Helium." Live Science. TechMedia Network, n.d. Web.15 Sept. 2016.