helium

Tag archives for helium

“I see a lot of new faces. But, you know the old saying, ‘out with the old, in with the nucleus.’” -The Simpsons Looking around the Universe today, there’s no doubt that there’s plenty of hydrogen and helium around; after all, it’s the nuclear fusion of hydrogen into helium that powers the vast majority of stars…

Why the World Will Run Out of Helium

“I have this one little saying, when things get too heavy just call me helium, the lightest known gas to man.” -Jimi Hendrix Hendrix, as I told you once before, was almost right. We know of helium, conventionally, as the lighter-than-air gas that we fill balloons, blimps and zeppelins with in order to quickly and easily…

Weekend Diversion: Be Safe, Be Free!

“If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom.” -Dwight Eisenhower One of the greatest feelings is the freedom to travel, whether by your own power or a mechanical motor, far faster than your own legs can take you. Kimya…

Why are Brown Dwarfs so Dim?

Ahh, stars. Giant furnaces of nuclear fusion. Doing the stuff our Sun does, burning hydrogen fuel into helium (among other things) and emitting lots of visible light and energy in the process. But when we take a look at brown dwarfs, they aren’t like normal (i.e., main sequence) stars like our Sun. Instead of burning…

Do all Stars Eventually Explode?

What’s going to happen to all the stars in the Universe as they get older? Well, just as nothing can live forever, stars can’t live forever also. Why? Because they run on fuel: burning hydrogen into helium, for example. When they run out of fuel, something’s gotta give. Barbara Ryden reminds us of an excellent…