Why All Helium Has Not Escaped Earth’s Atmosphere

Geology, Physics
[caption id="attachment_14665" align="alignright" width="440"] Hydrogen or Helium?[/caption] Ninety of the elements occur in nature. The smallest and lightest of the elements is hydrogen. Yet, it is abundant in Earth. Almost no hydrogen gas escapes Earth’s atmosphere. This is partly because hydrogen is reactive and exists almost exclusively in combination with other, heavier elements. Helium, too, is a gas. It is the second lightest element. However, it is neither reactive nor abundant. It does not occur in nature in compound form. Why doesn’t it all escape Earth’s atmosphere? Comparing Hydrogen and Helium Although hydrogen is the lightest element and atom, it almost never exists, even as a gas, in atomic form. It assumes, not monatomic form, H, but diatomic form, H₂. The weight of that is twice the weight of an…
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Leaded Gas: Any Ongoing Health Issue?

[caption id="attachment_22186" align="alignright" width="440"] Tetraethyl Lead[/caption] What's special about leaded gas? And since it was eliminated, are there health issues in the environment because of it? For more than fifty years, internal combustion engines such as automobile engines have used a high compression ratio.” This means gas mixed with air, by carburetion or injection, has been severely squeezed by pistons in cylinders. Spark was then applied, igniting the mixture. This was done to increase power and save money. Enter Leaded Gas In order to prevent pre-ignition, one or more octane improving agents was added to the fuel. The most common of these, used since about 1924, was tetraethyl lead, (C₂H₅)₄Pb. Later, low compression engines became the standard, which minimized the need for octane improvement. This was because of recognizing that…
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