Helium: The Disappearing Element

Springer, 19.02.2015 - 138 Seiten

The subject of the book is helium, the element, and its use in myriad applications including MRI machines, particle accelerators, space telescopes, and of course balloons and blimps. It was at the birth of our Universe, or the Big Bang, where the majority of cosmic helium was created; and stellar helium production continues. Although helium is the second most abundant element in the Universe, it is actually quite rare here on Earth and only exists because of radioactive elements deep within the Earth. This book includes a detailed history of the discovery of helium, of the commercial industry built around it, how the helium we actually encounter is produced within the Earth, and the state of the helium industry today. The gas that most people associate with birthday party balloons is running out. “Who cares?” you might ask. Well, without helium, MRI machines could not function, rockets could not go into space, particle accelerators such as those used by CERN could not operate, fiber optic cables would not exist, and semiconductor chips could not be made...the list goes on and on.


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1 What Is Helium?
2 Where Does Helium Come from?
3 Foundations of Discovery
4 Helium on Earth
5 The Helium Industry
6 Helium Today

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Über den Autor (2015)

Wheeler M. “Bo” Sears, Jr.'s entire working career has been involved with oil, gas, and helium exploration. The former Vice-President of Inter-American Corporation and now President of Weil Helium, LLC, Bo has spent the past ten years devoted to helium exploration centering on deposits across the mid-continent region of North America. Weil Helium is one of the only companies in the world involved in helium “exploration” as a primary pursuit; traditionally, helium has been produced as a secondary or tertiary bi-product of natural gas production. On July 11, 2013, Wheeler testified before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources on the topic of “America’s Helium Supply: Options for Producing more Helium from Federal Lands.”

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