Forget what you've learned - scientists just created a stable helium compound

'the sound of settled science' plays again.

If you remember your high school chemistry, you'll know that helium is a bit of an oddball. This noble gas is the least reactive element on the periodic table, and thanks to its full outer shell, conventional wisdom states that helium cannot interact with other atoms to create stable compounds.

While other noble gas elements have shown signs of forming compounds under extreme pressure, helium has remained firmly exclusive - until now. Scientists report creating what appears to be a stable helium-sodium compound, and it challenges some of the most basic assumptions of modern chemistry.

"Chemistry changes when you apply high pressure, and this can be achieved inside our Earth and on different planets like Saturn," one of the team, Ivan Popov from Utah State University, told Ryan F. Mandelbaum at Gizmodo.

"But this is a book changer."

If you need a bit of a refresher on your chemistry facts, helium is the second most abundant element in the Universe, and belongs to a six-member group of elements called the noble gases - so-called because of an apparent 'aloofness' that prevents them from easily forming compounds with other elements.

Since earning their 'noble' reputation, some of these gases have shown signs of reactiveness under extreme conditions - you can actually split the noble gases up into two groups, with krypton, xenon, and radon considered to be relatively reactive, and argon, neon, and helium considered to be very unreactive.

Researchers have found ways to pair up helium with other elements in the past, but until now, the result has always been fleeting.

One of the most common examples of helium interacting with other elements refers to van der Waals forces - attractive or repulsive forces that don't require conventional covalent or ionic bonds to form.


Forget what you've learned - scientists just created a stable helium compound - ScienceAlert (external - login to view)
I used to nap in chemistry class. It proved, to me at least, that a short nap in the afternoon refreshes you and powers your brain up for the rest of the day.

This article validated my decision to sleep. Imagine remaining conscious and learning all the wrong stuff?
Cool article, so they figured out how to get helium to dry hump other atoms? hehehe
Isn't this so cute! Social conservatives talking science.
Quote: Originally Posted by CannuckView Post

Isn't this so cute! Social conservatives talking science.

What? You don't science?

Do you even understand science enough to comment?
#6  Top Rated Post
He doesn't brain.

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