Helium (from Greek: a¼¥Î»Î¹Î¿Ï, romanized: Helios, lit. ‘Sun’) is a chemical element with the symbol He and atomic number 2. It is a clear/white, odorless, (having no taste/rude and offensive), non-poisonous, not moving/powerless, monatomic gas, the first in the noble gas group in the periodic table. Its boiling point is the lowest among all the elements. Helium is the second lightest and second most plentiful element in the (capable of being seen and known) universe (hydrogen is the lightest and most plentiful). It is present at about 24% of the total elemental mass, which is more than 12 times the mass of all the heavier elements combined. Its (oversupply/large amount) is just like this in both the Sun and in Jupiter. This is due to the very high nuclear binding energy (per nucleon) of helium-4, with respect to the next three elements after helium. This helium-4 binding energy also accounts for why it is a product of both nuclear fusion and (when a radioactive substance breaks down). Most helium in the universe is helium-4, almost all which was formed during the Big Bang. Large amounts of new helium are being created by nuclear joining together of hydrogen in stars.
Helium is named for the Greek god of the Sun, Helios. It was first detected as an unknown, yellow (related to ghosts or the colors of the rainbow) line signature in sunlight, during a solar (when the moon blocks the sun, etc.) in 1868 by Georges Rayet, Captain C. T. Haig, Norman R. Pogson, and Lieutenant John Herschel, and was (after that) proven true by French star expert, Jules Janssen. Janssen is often both/together credited with detecting the element, along with Norman Lockyer. Janssen recorded the helium (related to ghosts or the colors of the rainbow) line during the solar (when the moon blocks the sun, etc.) of 1868, while Lockyer watched/followed it from Britain. Lockyer was the first to propose that the line was due to a new element, which he named. The formal discovery of the element was made in 1895 by two Swedish chemists, Per Teodor Cleve and Nils Abraham Langlet, who found helium coming from the uranium ore, cleveite, which is now not thought of as a separate mineral (group of similar living things) but as a variety of uraninite. In 1903, large reserves of helium were found in natural gas fields in parts of the United States, which is by far the largest supplier of the gas today.
Liquid helium is used in (the science of very cold things) (its largest single use, soaking up (like a towel) about a quarter of production), especially in the cooling of superconducting magnets, with the main commercial use being in MRI scanners. Helium’s other industrial uses–as a pressurizing and purge gas, as a (serving or acting to prevent harm) atmosphere for arc welding, and in processes such as growing crystals to make silicon wafers–account for half of the gas produced. A well-known but minor use is as a lifting gas in balloons and airships. As with any gas whose density is different from that of air, breathing in a small sound level of helium (only for a short time) changes the sound and quality of the human voice. In scientific research, the behavior of the two fluid phases of helium-4 (helium I and helium II) is important to (people who work to find information) studying (related to tiny, weird movements of atoms) mechanics (in particular the property of superfluidity) and to those looking at the (important events or patterns of things), such as superconductivity, produced in matter near (the lowest possible temperature in the universe).
On Earth, it is (compared to other things) rare–5.2 ppm by volume in the atmosphere. Most land-based/Earth-based helium present today is created by the natural (when a radioactive substance breaks down) of heavy radioactive elements (thorium and uranium, although there are other examples), as the alpha particles gave off/given off by such (rots/becomes ruined/gets worse) consist of helium-4 centers (of cells or atoms). This radiogenic helium is trapped with natural gas in concentrations as great as 7% by (total space occupied by something), from which it is (pulled out or taken from something else) commercially by a low-temperature separation process called fractional summary/(when something is boiled down). (before that/before now), land-based/Earth-based helium–a non-renewable useful thing/valuable supply because once released into the atmosphere, it quickly escapes into space–was thought to be in more and more short supply. However, recent studies suggest that helium produced deep in the earth by (when a radioactive substance breaks down) can collect in natural gas reserves in larger than people thought amounts, sometimes, having been released by volcanoes.
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