Skip to comments.Not just Party City: Why helium shortages worry scientists and researchers
Posted on 05/18/2019 12:23:47 PM PDT by EdnaMode
This months announcement from Party City that its closing more than 40 stores as it grapples with new challenges, including diminishing helium supplies, likely came as unwelcome news to customers who count on the store for their balloon and event planning needs.
But for scientists like Mark Elsesser, the announcement was something of a relief, inflating hopes that the public, and the government, might start paying closer attention.
When it comes to helium, were at a tipping point, said Elsesser, who is the associate director of government affairs at the American Physical Society, a nonprofit association of physicists. Party City has made our job a little bit easier when it comes to getting helium on peoples radar. Helium is something we need to address.
Elsesser said news coverage related to Party City's difficulties in sourcing helium cast a long-overdue spotlight on an element thats often overlooked and underestimated.
Yes, helium is known for making you sound like a chipmunk and filling your balloons. But the lighter-than-air element has far weightier uses.
(Excerpt) Read more at nbcnews.com ...
Not to worry. Once the Chinese get their fusion reactors going there will be an endless supply of helium.
“The direct “waste products” are Helium-4 and the neutron. The Helium-4 is nothing to be concerned about - it’s ordinary stable Helium.’
It’s much more fun to fill balloons with water.
There is no helium in the atmosphere. Anything not trapped at the well-cap goes rapidly off into space.
Years ago, when the national government at least gave the appearance of caring about such things, they had a Helium stockpile iirc.
Also stockpiles of burlap and mohair and crystal radio minerals, but at least they didn’t want America to get caught with our pants down. Anything deemed strategic, rare earth minerals, they kept some on hand. The Swiss, of all people, have maintained a strategic Coffee supply policy for many years, which their government is proposing to rescind. This is not a bad idea. Chocolate is another. I have determined conclusively on my own, that it is not possible to “hoard” Chocolate. It ain’t happenin’. It’s one of those impossibilities - “Leftover Bacon”, same thing.
Natural rubber was completely cut off at the beginning of World War II. The government rationed gasoline to individuals to something like 6 gallons a week, and no one could possess more than five (5) car tires by April of 1942
MRI machines require helium to cool down the magnets.
Dirty commies, no doubt.
Helium actually is a commodity/resource that should be conserved. Unlike old growth redwood, helium doesn’t grow on trees, and is a vital strategic resource for high tech and military. We got cocky with billions of cubic feet of the stuff sitting on salt domes accumulated over millions of years ripe for the taking, but now it’s getting scarce, and no, the chinese ain’t coming to the rescue.
Monatomic Hydrogen certainly exists in nature; it is in fact the most abundant form; in fact monotomic hydrogen is the most abundant molecule in the universe; Helium is a distant second. If you mean it doesn't exist outside of stars, sure. But there's nothing "unnatural" about the sun.
Diatomic hydrogen, like Helium, would all have left the atmosphere long ago, but Hydrogen is chemically reactive, unlike Helium so it's locked up in hydrides, hydroxides, and other forms. Diatomic hydrogen in our atmosphere is produced by the hydrolysis of the ocean surfaces by sunlight.
Never attribute to evil communists what can be explained by simple incompetence (although evil communists are usually both: cf Venezuela, Cuba, ...)
Who wants to drink from the fire hose?!
/ liberal science explanation, "We're the party of science"
Dont forget He is also a vital gas in the pressurization of space farming vehicles to prevent tank collapse. I believe one of the advantages to going back to the moon is the abundance of He3 the predict is available. That could make for one heck of a gas market if they can extract it and ship it back to Earth.
It was a bad idea then and it still is a bad idea. It is really too expensive to filter it out of atmosphere.
Helium can't realistically be filtered out of the atmosphere: Condenses too cold a temperature to cryo separate effectively, too little volume and too small to filter atomically or chemically. Chemically inert = no reactions.
Lighter than air, it diffuses “up” to space.
Could mine in Jupiter or Saturn or a moon of them maybe?
Enron influence of “competitive marketing - if “we” are the only competitors” in the entire free market of the commodity ?
A moon full of helium
Scientists believe that solar winds have been depositing huge amounts of helium on the surface of the moon over billions of years, collecting and building up in the lunar soil like dust settling on your desk.
How could we extract helium from the sun?
Weve researched the ideas that have been proposed so far and they are, if you pardon the pun, out of this world.
Each solar eruption carries a trickle of helium. So the first thing wed have to do is increase the amount of solar ejections.
To do that, giant lasers could be used to shoot areas of the sun, causing it to heat up and emit solar flares and winds at our request.
See? Problem solved. No need to thank me.
I think that was the operating concept of the E-Cat system .... you saw how that turned out....
It is also considered a “mined” product.
Helium can be used in welding. It is my understanding the navy requires a pure helium gas for certain ship building. It used to be considered a strategic material. No idea about today.
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