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Zed Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:38 am

Quote: The element that lifts things like balloons, spirits and voice ranges is being depleted so rapidly in the world's largest reserve, outside of Amarillo, Texas, that supplies are expected to be depleted there within the next eight years.

This deflates more than the Goodyear blimp and party favors. Its larger impact is on science and technology, according to Lee Sobotka, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and physics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

"Helium's use in science is extremely broad, but its most important use is as a coolant," said Sobotka, a specialist in nuclear chemistry and physics who collaborates with researchers at several national laboratories.

Generally the larger users of helium (He), such as the national laboratories, have the infrastructure to efficiently use and recycle helium, Sobotka said. The same cannot be said of many smaller scale users.

Helium plays a role in nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectroscopy, welding, fiber optics and computer microchip production, among other technological applications. NASA uses large amounts annually to pressurize space shuttle fuel tanks.

"Helium is non-renewable and irreplaceable. Its properties are unique and unlike hydrocarbon fuels (natural gas or oil), there are no biosynthetic ways to make an alternative to helium. All should make better efforts to recycle it."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080102093943.htm

drscope Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:25 am

Well i guess its back to hydrogen.

DownRiver Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:25 am

More importantly:

Helium-3 (He-3) is a light, non-radioactive isotope of helium with two protons and one neutron, rare on Earth, sought for use in nuclear fusion research. The abundance of helium-3 is thought to be greater on the Moon (embedded in the upper layer of regolith by the solar wind over billions of years) and the solar system's gas giants (left over from the original solar nebula), though still low in quantity (28 ppm of lunar regolith is helium-4 and 0.01 ppm is helium-3).[1] It is proposed to be used as a second-generation fusion power source.


Good thing we planted that US flag in the desert way back when. It's all about the Resources!

Rowroy Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:30 am

We use liquid helium at the Oak Ridge National Lab for cryogenic work. It cools our chambers down to ~1.5-2 K (whereas liquid nitrogen only cools down to 4K).

We also use it in our neutron detectors (H-3 to be exact). It costs $2 million/truckload, and we buy 3 truckloads at a time.

Helium is "going away", but like crude oil, not as fast as some would have you believe.

chickengeorge Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:58 am

Rowroy wrote: We use liquid helium at the Oak Ridge National Lab for cryogenic work. It cools our chambers down to ~1.5-2 K (whereas liquid nitrogen only cools down to 4K).

We also use it in our neutron detectors (H-3 to be exact). It costs $2 million/truckload, and we buy 3 truckloads at a time.

Helium is "going away", but like crude oil, not as fast as some would have you believe.
Two Gallants. Love em.

TeamSpatula Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:00 am

Rowroy wrote: We use liquid helium at the Oak Ridge National Lab for cryogenic work. It cools our chambers down to ~1.5-2 K (whereas liquid nitrogen only cools down to 4K).
whoa - 2 Kelvin? Been a long time since chemistry class, but isn't that like -271 celsius? That's COLD!!!!!

and on a lighter note, doesn't the sun make Helium? can't we just mine it from there?

HerrrKafer Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:23 am

Rowroy wrote: (whereas liquid nitrogen only cools down to 4K).

Doesn't nitrogen freeze at 60-something K?

drscope Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:11 am

My brain hurts!

coW Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:35 am

Kid's Birfday parties won't be the same without floating balloons. :cry:

Vanhag Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:26 pm

TeamSpatula wrote: Rowroy wrote: We use liquid helium at the Oak Ridge National Lab for cryogenic work. It cools our chambers down to ~1.5-2 K (whereas liquid nitrogen only cools down to 4K).
whoa - 2 Kelvin? Been a long time since chemistry class, but isn't that like -271 celsius? That's COLD!!!!!

and on a lighter note, doesn't the sun make Helium? can't we just mine it from there?

Woah there Spatula boy,

-2 Kelvin, just think about that for a minute. Think back to chemistry class to what Absolute Zero is.


No more squeeky high voices? No more divers sounding like Mickey Mouse? Say it ain't so Al Gore!

TeamSpatula Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:32 pm

Vanhag wrote: TeamSpatula wrote: Rowroy wrote: We use liquid helium at the Oak Ridge National Lab for cryogenic work. It cools our chambers down to ~1.5-2 K (whereas liquid nitrogen only cools down to 4K).
whoa - 2 Kelvin? Been a long time since chemistry class, but isn't that like -271 celsius? That's COLD!!!!!

and on a lighter note, doesn't the sun make Helium? can't we just mine it from there?

Woah there Spatula boy,

-2 Kelvin, just think about that for a minute. Think back to chemistry class to what Absolute Zero is.

yeah, I should have been more clear - that's a dash - just using it to show a pause - for effect.
:)
I thought absolute zero was actually quantifying the amount of information you read on the internet that you can actually believe...

Vanhag Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:35 pm

TeamSpatula wrote: ...I thought absolute zero was actually quantifying the amount of information you read on the internet that you can actually believe...

LOL
Absolutely True!

dcketh Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:31 pm

It's also the amount of sympathy you can expect from other Samba members when you come in here to report on something stupid you just did! :D

Mr. Unpopular Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:39 pm

We need Algore to save us!

Derek Cobb Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:43 pm

I think you can only mine helium from the sun at night....

EverettB Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:50 pm

Rowroy wrote: We also use it in our neutron detectors (H-3 to be exact). It costs $2 million/truckload, and we buy 3 truckloads at a time.
Only 3? Doesn't the bulk rate start at 4 truckloads? ;)

-2 Kelvin - Wow, I was not aware of that. That is awesome.

calebmelvin Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:03 pm

EverettB wrote: Rowroy wrote: We also use it in our neutron detectors (H-3 to be exact). It costs $2 million/truckload, and we buy 3 truckloads at a time.
Only 3? Doesn't the bulk rate start at 4 truckloads? ;)

-2 Kelvin - Wow, I was not aware of that. That is awesome.

So THATS why we are depleting our supply so fast, it goes to the Barnes estate by the truckload! At the bulk rate even! I wonder what he does with it... :shock:

EverettB Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:25 pm

I wholesale to clowns. I already have a strange hold on the balloon market and the helium complements that nicely. I'm all about vertical expansion.

hpw Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:26 pm

EverettB wrote: I wholesale to clowns. I already have a strange hold on the balloon market and the helium complements that nicely. I'm all about vertical expansion.


calebmelvin Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:29 pm

^--See, now this is what we would loose in a world without Helium. What will idiots do with their spare time now?



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