Skip to main content

Podcast: The History of the Helium Crisis

In the 1990's, the US Bureau of Land Management unintentionally became the worlds largest supplier of helium. Last year, the world faced a potential helium cliff, when the US government had to decide whether to keep selling helium or exit the market as they'd originally planned. 

Thankfully, the crisis was averted; this last July the US started auctioning off large chunks of its helium to other suppliers, in an effort to keep the helium market healthy. 

Today on the Phyiscs Central podcast, we're talking about helium and the very important role it plays for many physicists around the world. We'll talk about how the helium market got to the edge of that economic cliff, why some physicists rely so heavily on helium, and what they're doing now to survive in the helium market.

Comments

Popular Posts

How 4,000 Physicists Gave a Vegas Casino its Worst Week Ever

What happens when several thousand distinguished physicists, researchers, and students descend on the nation’s gambling capital for a conference? The answer is "a bad week for the casino"—but you'd never guess why.

Ask a Physicist: Phone Flash Sharpie Shock!

Lexie and Xavier, from Orlando, FL want to know:
"What's going on in this video? Our science teacher claims that the pain comes from a small electrical shock, but we believe that this is due to the absorption of light. Please help us resolve this dispute!"

The Science of Ice Cream: Part One

Even though it's been a warm couple of months already, it's officially summer. A delicious, science-filled way to beat the heat? Making homemade ice cream.

Over at Physics@Home there's an easy recipe for homemade ice cream. But what kind of milk should you use to make ice cream? And do you really need to chill the ice cream base before making it? Why do ice cream recipes always call for salt on ice?