Helium is an element that is non-toxic and non-combustible. This element is symbolized as He which is also the Helium gas chemical formula. It has an atomic number 2. It is the first noble gas in the periodic table, that is, it is an inert gas. This monatomic gas is colourless, odourless, and tasteless. It was the very first gas that was detected in the sun and has varied uses in various fields. Helium is the second lightest and second most abundant element in the whole universe after hydrogen.
The molecular formula of helium gas is He. It mostly exists in a monatomic state. It has an electronic configuration 1s2. The structure of helium gas is a closed-packed crystal structure. Helium belongs to group 18, period 1. When exposed to the electric field, it displays a red-orange colour.
The Helium Formula is not written as He2 as per the Molecular Orbital Theory. However, the Helium gas formula He2 holds true at times as in the liquid phase it has some Van Der-Waal force between them becomes dominant. Liquid helium does not solidify at normal pressure irrespective of the temperature.
The properties of Helium gas is as follows:
The Molecular weight of Helium is 4.003 g/mol.
The density of Helium is 0.1786 g/L. It is about one-seventh as dense as air.
It is the lightest noble gas.
It is chemically inert.
It has a very low viscosity.
Helium is a tasteless, odourless, and colourless gas.
Helium chemical formula is He.
Helium, in general, due to its inert nature, does not form any chemical compounds in normal conditions but under special conditions of pressure and temperature, helium forms certain compounds like Helium oxide. The helium oxide formula can be written as HeO. It is often mashed with hydrogen to produce water and Helium gas or with carbon to produce carbon dioxide.
Helium is a very vital gas in the whole universe and finds numerous applications in several fields. It is essential for students to be well versed in its chemical properties.
1. Write a Few Uses of the Helium Gas.
Ans: The important uses of Helium are as follows-
Helium is used as a cryogenic coolant Thor superconducting magnet coils in MRI machines. Helium can work at minimal temperatures making it a very important coolant.
Helium is used in weather balloons because of its lightweight. It is of significant importance in the meteorological departments.
It is used in the breathing mixture for undersea diving.
Because of its inert nature, it is used as a pressurizing gas for rocket fuels.
Helium is used as a shielding gas in the welding arc. It is used in tungsten arc welding.
It is also used as a tracer gas because of its high diffusivity.
2. How Does Helium Have an Effect on Human Health?
Ans: Helium is a non-toxic gas but it does have some serious consequences on human health. It lowers the life-supporting levels of oxygen from the body. Excessive inhalation of helium causes dizziness, vomiting, and nausea. A low concentration of oxygen can lead to unconsciousness and death which may occur without any previous notice. There may be confusion and loss of judgement due to the inhalation of Helium. It is a simple asphyxiant that cuts oxygen intake in the body.
3. What are the Sources of Helium?
Ans: Helium gas is mined from underground resources. However, these resources are running out quickly. Helium cannot be produced by chemical methods. The only way to create helium is through fusion. It requires a massive amount of energy and a high cost for production. It is found as a by-product in nuclear power plants. It is a finite resource. Hence its proper utilization is of significant importance. Sun is a source of helium. The continuous fusion and fission reactions taking place in the sun create helium and hence the sun is the ultimate source of energy in the solar system.