Helium supply is in a crisis, and it influences not just the party balloons



How Helium was found is an interesting story. Some astronomers were observing a solar ellipse with their telescopes in 1868, and they found a strange color when they split the prominences' light into its components. That was the sign of an undiscovered element.

This news gas was helium. Helium has many practical uses, not only for party balloons and making squeaky voice. From essential equipment in science labs to common medical scanners and even scuba tanks, even all kinds of scientific breakthroughs such as the discovery of the Higgs boson to the creation of new pharmaceutical materials.

Although helium gas is the second most abundant element in the universe, it's a slippery thing to get hold of on Earth. Combine that with a meager supply chain, and you end up with a global helium market that's shockingly fragile. From 2011 to 2013, the helium industry faced shortfalls of 20 percent, leading to crippling shortages.

our supply of this precious gas is in turmoil. How can we ensure a sustainable future for helium, a gas so light it can simply drift off into space?

helium has a boiling point at -452 degrees Fahrenheit, its liquid state is the coldest of any element, and it doesn't freeze at everyday pressures, making it the world's best coolant. Superconducting magnets, such as the ones in MRI scanners or crucial pieces of chemistry lab equipment, don't work unless they're bathed in liquid helium. Also, Many cutting-edge research that must be carried out at temperatures just above absolute zero (-459.67 degrees Fahrenheit) also depend on the use of helium.

But the Skyrocketing prices for liquid helium are placing medical and innovation ecosystem at significant risk.

Many Scientists are abandoning entire areas of needed research, and institutions are closing laboratories that rely on liquid helium

According to Simon Bare, (a distinguished scientist at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory), We must carefully steward every drop because helium is vital and nonrenewable. Establishing plans to conserve helium must be adhered to not only in times when helium prices are spiking but also when prices stabilize. Also, authorities must step in to secure stable supply and pricing for helium to keep medical and research enterprises running in the years to come.

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