Helium (He) – Periodic Table [Element Information & More]

helium element periodic table

Helium element (He) is in group 18 and period 1 of a periodic table. Helium is in the p-block and it is classified as a noble gas on the periodic table.

There is a lot more information related to helium which is mentioned in the Information Table given below.

So let’s dive right into it!

Table of contents

Helium Element (Information Table)

The important data related to helium element is given in the table below.

Appearance of heliumColorless gas
Atomic number of helium2
Symbol of heliumHe
Atomic mass of helium4.002 u
Protons, Neutrons & Electrons in heliumProtons: 2, Neutrons: 2, Electrons: 2
State of helium (at STP)Gas
Group number of helium in periodic table18
Period number of helium in periodic table1
Block of helium in periodic tablep-block
Category of heliumNoble gases
Bohr model or Electrons per shell or Electrons arrangement in helium2 electrons in 1st shell
Electron configuration of helium1s2
Orbital diagram of heliumorbital diagram of helium
Valence electrons in helium2
Atomic radius of helium (van der Waals radius)140 picometers
Density of helium0.1786 g/L
1st ionization energy of helium24.587 eV
Main isotope of helium4He
Melting point of helium0.95 K or -272.2 °C or -457.9 °F (at 2.5 MPa)
Boiling point of helium4.22 K or -268.9 °C or -452 °F
Crystal structure of heliumHexagonal closed packing (HCP)
Discovery of heliumBy Pierre Jules César Janssen, and Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer (in 1868)

Also see: Interactive Periodic Table (It has rotating bohr models as well as many other details of all the 118 elements in a single periodic table).

Helium element in Periodic table

The Helium element (He) has the atomic number 2 and is located in group 18 and period 1. Helium is a nonmetal and it is classified as a noble gas element.

Click on above elements in the periodic table to see their information.

Facts about helium

Here are a few interesting facts about helium element.

  1. Helium is a very light gas and so it escapes the earth’s atmosphere.
  2. Helium shows the properties of superfluid at absolute zero temperature.
  3. Helium is the second most abundant element found in the universe which is around 24%. (Hydrogen is the most abundant element which is around 74%).
  4. Out of all the 118 elements on the periodic table, the helium atom has the smallest atomic size.
  5. Helium was first discovered in the atmosphere of the Sun.
  6. On the earth, the helium gas can be obtained by radioactive decay of thorium and uranium.

Properties of helium

Here is a list of some physical properties and chemical properties of helium.

Physical properties of helium

  • Helium is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas.
  • Helium is an element that has the smallest atomic size out of all the 118 known elements.
  • Helium is lighter than air and so it easily escapes the earth’s atmosphere.

Chemical properties of helium

  • Helium is chemically inert and so it does not show much chemical reactivity at normal conditions. However, helium can form unstable compounds with tungsten, iodine, sulfur, fluorine and phosphorus under extreme conditions.
  • Helium is considered to be the 2nd least reactive element after neon.

Uses of helium

Here are some uses of the helium element.

  • Mostly helium is used in cryogenic applications for cooling the superconducting magnets.
  • As helium is chemically inert, it is used as a shielding gas in Gas Tungsten Arc Welding.
  • Helium is also used in leak detection in industries.
  • Helium is lighter than air, so it is also used in airships and balloons.
  • Helium can be used as a carrier gas for gas chromatography.

External resources:

  1. Helium – Element information, properties and uses | Periodic Table. (n.d.). Helium – Element Information, Properties and Uses | Periodic Table. https://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/2/helium
  2. Helium – Wikipedia. (2022, February 1). Helium – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium
  3. It’s Elemental – The Element Helium. (n.d.). It’s Elemental – the Element Helium. https://education.jlab.org/itselemental/ele002.html
  4. P. (n.d.). Helium | He (Element) – PubChem. Helium | He (Element) – PubChem. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/element/Helium
  5. Programs: Energy and Minerals: Helium: About Helium | Bureau of Land Management. (n.d.). About Helium | Bureau of Land Management. https://www.blm.gov/programs/energy-and-minerals/helium/about-helium
  6. Periodic Table of Elements: Los Alamos National Laboratory. (n.d.). Periodic Table of Elements: Los Alamos National Laboratory. https://periodic.lanl.gov/2.shtml
  7. Atomic Weight of Helium | Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights. (n.d.). Atomic Weight of Helium | Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights. https://ciaaw.org/helium.htm
  8. Atomic Data for Helium (He). (n.d.). Atomic Data for Helium (He). https://physics.nist.gov/PhysRefData/Handbook/Tables/heliumtable1.htm
  9. Helium | He | ChemSpider. (n.d.). Helium | He | ChemSpider. http://www.chemspider.com/Chemical-Structure.22423.html?rid=052a3e81-72ab-4028-9e38-ea41d2f48ab6&page_num=0
  10. Helium Statistics and Information | U.S. Geological Survey. (n.d.). Helium Statistics and Information | U.S. Geological Survey. https://www.usgs.gov/centers/national-minerals-information-center/helium-statistics-and-information
  11. C&EN: IT’S ELEMENTAL: THE PERIODIC TABLE – THE NOBLE GASES. (n.d.). C&EN: IT’S ELEMENTAL: THE PERIODIC TABLE – THE NOBLE GASES. https://pubsapp.acs.org/cen/80th/noblegases.html?
  12. Haynes, W. M. (Ed.). (2014, June 4). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. https://doi.org/10.1201/b17118
  13. Emsley, J. (2011). Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. United Kingdom: OUP Oxford.
  14. Sansonetti, J. E., & Martin, W. C. (2005, December). Handbook of Basic Atomic Spectroscopic Data. Journal of Physical and Chemical Reference Data, 34(4), 1559–2259. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.1800011
  15. Bondi, A. (1964, March). van der Waals Volumes and Radii. The Journal of Physical Chemistry, 68(3), 441–451. https://doi.org/10.1021/j100785a001
  16. James A. M. & Lord M. P. (1992). Macmillan’s chemical and physical data. Macmillan.
  17. Holden, et al. (2018, December 1). IUPAC Periodic Table of the Elements and Isotopes (IPTEI) for the Education Community (IUPAC Technical Report). Pure and Applied Chemistry, 90(12), 1833–2092. https://doi.org/10.1515/pac-2015-0703
  18. Allred, A. (1961, June). Electronegativity values from thermochemical data. Journal of Inorganic and Nuclear Chemistry, 17(3–4), 215–221. https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1902(61)80142-5
  19. Kaye, G W.C., & Laby, T H. Tables of physical and chemical constants. 15th Edition. United States.
  20. Zhang, Y., Evans, J. R. G., & Yang, S. (2011, January 11). Corrected Values for Boiling Points and Enthalpies of Vaporization of Elements in Handbooks. Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, 56(2), 328–337. https://doi.org/10.1021/je1011086
  21. Possolo, A., van der Veen, A. M. H., Meija, J., & Hibbert, D. B. (2018, January 4). Interpreting and propagating the uncertainty of the standard atomic weights (IUPAC Technical Report). Pure and Applied Chemistry, 90(2), 395–424. https://doi.org/10.1515/pac-2016-0402

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