Video: Are we running out of helium?

March 14, 2019, American Chemical Society
Credit: The American Chemical Society

Did you realize that just like certain animals here on Earth, there are endangered elements, too? For example, we're constantly losing helium, a gas that defies gravity and escapes our atmosphere into space. This incredible element is in high demand all over the globe. It's also way too expensive to create in the laboratory, and that's bad news for more than just your birthday party!

This week on Reactions, we will explore innovations of the industrial era of , how much we have left and whether or not this element will go extinct:

Explore further: Helium exoplanet inflated like a balloon, research shows

Related Stories

The 'stuff' of the universe keeps changing

February 1, 2019

The composition of the universe—the elements that are the building blocks for every bit of matter—is ever-changing and ever-evolving, thanks to the lives and deaths of stars.

New law could shore up US helium supply

July 26, 2017

Helium is essential for MRIs, the fiber optics that deliver images to our TVs, scientific research and of course, party balloons. In the past decade, helium prices have sky-rocketed due to supply shortages. But if small updates ...

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy of hydrogen and helium

February 12, 2019

For the first time scientists measured the vibrational structure of hydrogen and helium atoms by X-rays. The results disprove the misconception that it's impossible to obtain X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) spectra ...

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

Paleontologists report world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex

March 22, 2019

University of Alberta paleontologists have just reported the world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex and the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Canada. The 13-metre-long T. rex, nicknamed "Scotty," lived in prehistoric Saskatchewan ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Jeffhans1
not rated yet Mar 14, 2019
If the cost of helium rises high enough, fusion will inevitably follow.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.