Helium is a colorless gas that exhibits a reddish orange glow when placed in a high voltage electric field. It is one of the noble gases and comes on the first number in the list of noble gases with Argon, Krypton, Xenon etc following it. Though it must be clear to you till yet that Helium is a noble gas and it is colorless, but there are certain other characteristics of it that we have mentioned in this article to make you acknowledged with all about what Helium is.
What Is Helium
1. Position in the Periodic Table:-
After Hydrogen, which is the first element of the periodic table of elements, the Helium, which is a noble gas occupies the second position in it. Now, after Helium there comes Lithium and then Beryllium following which comes Boron. Helium has got its melting point as 0.95 K (−272.20 °C, −457.96 °F) (at 2.5 MPa) and boiling point as 4.222 K (−268.928 °C, −452.070 °F).
2. The Common Characteristics:-
Helium being the second element of the periodic table has got its standard atomic weight as (±) (Ar) 4.002602 (2) and is put into the category of noble gases. It belongs to the group 18 and s-block. The electronic configuration of Helium is 1s2 and it has got its symbol as “He”. It is packed close according to the HCP structure.
3. The Other Characteristics:-
The speed of sound through This noble gas is approximately 972 m/s and it has got a thermal conductivity of nearly 0.1513 W/(m·K) It is diamagnetic in nature and its atomic number is 2. It is odorless which means there is no characteristic odor associated with it and it is basically monoatomic in nature.
4. The Discovery of Helium:-
Helium was discovered by Mr. Pierre Janssen, Norman Lockyer in 1868 and it has been named so after “Helios” who is the Greek god of the sun. The first isolation of it was made by William Ramsay , Per Teodor Cleve, Abraham Langlet in 1895 and after that continuous experiments and thesis have been made on the same.
5. Toxicity of Helium:-
Talking about the toxicity of this gas, it is generally non- toxic in nature and is basically an inert one. The melting point and boiling points are lowest amongst all the elements positioned in the periodic table and this gas has the capability to stay as a gas even in the toughest of temperature and pressure conditions.
6. Second Most Abundant Element In Universe:-
Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe with about 24% of the total elemental mass and it is the lightest element amongst the all in periodic table as well. Liquid helium is used in cryogenics and as a pressurizing and purge gas. It is also used as a protective atmosphere for arc welding and is abundantly available within Universe.