The Scientific Properties of Helium

Helium is the second lightest and second most abundant element in the entire universe. It is present in the stars, galaxies and even within the Earth. Helium is used for a multitude of things because it has specific properties that can be used for different areas.

Helium is Light

As previously mentioned, helium is the second lightest element in the universe. Because of this, it is less dense than air, meaning that it can be used for lifting objects such as balloons and airships.

Multi color pastel color party balloons isolated on white

Helium is Non-Flammable

Helium belongs to a set of elements known as inert elements. An inert element means that it cannot react with any other element. This means that it doesn’t burn in the presence of heat and oxygen, i.e. it is non-flammable. This is excellent for airships and blimps; the Hindenburg disaster of 1937 is often attributed to the fact that they were unable to use helium, and instead used highly flammable hydrogen.

Beautiful blue heavenly and soft cloudy sky with a patriotic balloon arch

Helium is Non-Toxic

Even though too much helium excludes oxygen intake, helium is a non-toxic substance. This is good because it can be used in diving equipment to reduce the concentration of pure oxygen in the breathing tank and eliminate nitrogen within the body. This greatly reduces the effect of the ‘bend’ when divers emerge from great depths in diving.

Scuba Diving

Helium has a Very Low Boiling Point

The very low boiling point of helium means that it can be cooled to extremely low temperatures. This can then be used to cool large magnets that are used within MRI scanners, NMR spectrometers and even the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

Particle collision

As previously discussed, helium is used to fill balloons to make them lift in the surrounding air. This is great for celebrations like children’s parties and other special occasions. At Fill n’ Away, we are experts in providing helium canisters, whether disposable or refillable. If you would like to know more, then please get in touch today on 01843 220596 and speak to our friendly team.