helium gas

Helium

The second most abundant element in the world, the atomic number and weight of helium are 2 and 4.002 respectively. Helium is an inert gas which doesn't have a color, taste or odor; the element is non-toxic. The name of the gas helium is derived from a Greek word, 'helios' which is used to denote the Sun. Helium is inert and unable to react with other elements. However, breakdown of radioactive elements present in some minerals produces helium. Let us have a look at what are some common uses of helium.

Key Properties

Helium is an extremely light gas (its density is 0.169 kg/m3) and is therefore very volatile.

Application

Applications of helium can also be found in nuclear medicine. The liquid helium uses and applications can be found in medical instrumentation.

Chronic and acute forms of respiratory diseases can be treated with the help of helium. For such treatments, mixture of helium and oxygen is used. The advantage of using helium mixed oxygen is that the mixture travels to lungs at low pressure.

The MRI scanning technology makes use of helium in its liquid form. The low boiling point of helium (-269° C) allows its use in the process of cooling down the MRI magnets.

Another medical application of helium can be found in the process of observing breathing. It is helpful in the treatment of diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema and asthma, where lungs are obstructed due to scarring, inflammation, mucous build up, etc.

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