Skip links

Helium (He): Fun Facts and Information About the Element

What is the symbol? He
What is the atomic number? 2
What is the atomic weight? 4.0026
What is the melting point in Celsius? -272
What is the boiling point in Celsius? -269
What is the density (g/cm3)? 0.18
What year was helium discovered? 1895
Who discovered the element? Pierre-Jules-César Janssen
What group is the element in? 18
What is the electron configuration? 1s2
What is the ionization energy? 24.5874
What element category is it in? Noble gases

Where is Helium Found?

Except for hydrogen, helium is the most abundant element found in the universe. Helium is extracted from natural gas. In fact, all natural gas contains at least trace quantities of helium. It has been detected spectroscopically in great abundance, especially in the hotter stars, and it is an important component in both the proton-proton reaction and the carbon cycle, which account for the energy of the sun and stars.

How is helium used?

Helium is used in many ways such as as an inert gas shield for arc welding, a protective gas in growing silicon and germanium crystals and producing titanium and zirconium, as a cooling medium for nuclear reactors, and as a gas for supersonic wind tunnels. Other everyday used for helium include filling balloons for parties because it is a much safer gas than hydrogen or in its Liquid form in magnetic resonance imaging machines.