Element Factfile: Helium

Today's element

itch-header

itch-packshotOut now, the book follows Itchingham Lofte – known as Itch- who is an element-hunter! He’s decided to collect all the elements in the periodic table, which has some rather destructive results in his bedroom!

However, when he discovers a brand new element, never seen before, he ends up with unwanted attention and a lot of danger.

Itch is written by Simon Mayo and published by Random House – out now.

So you can become an element hunter too, we’ve put together fact files on some key elements you’ll want to catch!

Today’s is… Helium
.

Here’s what Itch has got to say:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

heliumHelium is the second most common element in the universe and one of the lightest. It’s used to inflate blimps and balloons. In fact, Helium is so light that it defies Earth’s gravity and is constantly lost to space.

Helium is also combined with oxygen to create a nitrogen free atmosphere for deep sea divers so that they will not suffer from a condition known as nitrogen narcosis.

And, most important of all, if inhaled it makes you sound very squeaky!!

Check out all the elements: