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Helium, symbol "He", is element number 2, and is, similar to hydrogen, a very simple atom. It has two protons, two neutrons, and two electrons, simple as that, and because the first electron shell only needs two electrons to be stable, this is an extremely stable atom, and almost never bonds with any other elements. Most commonly it's found in normal old air, and to purify it, they simply get the air colder until the gases start liquifying out, once all the nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide are gone, get it a little colder, and all the helium liquifies out(Go a bit further and you get other noble gases like argon, neon, krypton, and xenon). Commercially liquid helium is used because it is very very cold, and can be used to freeze things solid that might normally be a liquid, or maybe even a gas. And of course everyone knows about helium balloons!

These are my samples!

Helium-Neon Laser

Before semiconductors made LEDs an easy way to make laser light, you had to use plasmatized gas in a big glass tube with extremely carefully aligned mirrors on either end, and it was much more fun. One type which creates red laser light is a mixture of helium and neon gas, being mostly neon. This is the tube required, but it won't run without some high voltage from someplace.

Date added(year-month-day):20110801, sample number:48

Tags(Elements in sample):helium, neon

Homemade Helium Ampoule

This is a sealed glass tube (known as an "ampoule"(pronounced am-pule)) containing wet helium which I saved from a balloon I got at a fair. My process was to take a glass tube with one end sealed, fill with water, get a big bubble of helium in the end of the tube, and then torch the glass shut at the bottom of the bubble. With one balloon I easily made two of these, and used the rest to inhale and sound hilarious.

Date added(year-month-day):20110719, sample number:2

Tags(Elements in sample):helium

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