Can I Store Liquid Helium in a Thermos?

Can I Store Liquid Helium in a Thermos? image 0 Christmas Tag

Thermoses are great for storing various liquids and gases, but many people have one question: Can I store liquid Helium in a thermos? This article will examine the properties of liquid Helium, including the applications for which it is valid, how it is stored, and its costs. The answers to these questions will help you make the right decision. And, with this guide, you’ll be one step closer to enjoying the benefits of this rare gas!


Helium has unusual properties. The liquid helium below the lambda point shows a remarkable discontinuity in heat capacity. Its density becomes almost zero. This condition is called superfluidity. This occurs due to the Bose-Einstein condensation of helium atoms. As a result, liquid Helium below lambda point will flow continuously and empty the container spontaneously.

The superfluidity of liquid Helium is a famous example of this phenomenon. At shallow temperatures, both helium isotopes can form this superfluid. Such a fluid has no viscosity, allowing it to move without losing kinetic energy. If liquid Helium could proceed in a vortex forever, it would continue to spin indefinitely.

Liquid Helium earns its superfluid properties below the lambda point. This property was first discovered in 1937 by Pytor Kapitsa, who published his findings in January 1938. He had been measuring the thermal conductivity of liquid Helium when he found that it did not change as a function of pressure. This was the first proof of the existence of superfluid helium, which was impossible to measure using the viscosity formula.


Liquid Helium is a liquid with a boiling point of 4.2 K at 100 kPa, making it one of the coldest fluids in nature. Below this critical temperature, impurities in the liquid phase will convert to solids and become precipitates, mist, or suspensions. The vapor pressure of liquid Helium is negligible compared to hydrogen isotopes and molecular combinations.

Hydrostatic pressure refers to constant stress in all directions. At liquid helium temperature, this pressure is approximately eleven GPA. The solid material impedes pressure transmission due to nonhydrostaticity and pressure anisotropy. Consequently, Helium at higher temperatures has higher molecular concentrations. It is also not completely free of molecular hydrogen. These effects make liquid Helium unsuitable for some thermochemical and photocatalysis applications.

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To study the electronic properties of materials, researchers need to cool them to absolute zero. Liquid Helium is used to create these conditions by cooling special coils of magnets to superconducting temperatures. A typical low-temperature measurement system consists of a cooling platform, a space to put the materials sample, and various probes that measure thermal, magnetic, and electrical properties. Similar conditions are often required when materials are studied at light or neutron sources.


Liquid Helium has a low boiling point under 1 atmosphere. For example, liquid helium-4(4He) liquefies at 4.2 deg K. In contrast, liquid helium-3(3He) melts at 3.2 deg K. Therefore, storage of liquid Helium requires a thermos with a high thermal insulating capacity, such as glass or metal. Ideally, the thermos should be double-walled and use low thermal conductivity materials.

Using cryogenic storage dewars can improve the mass of liquid Helium available and reduce the size of the storage tank. The cryostat consists of an inner shell filled with liquid Helium and is covered by multi-layer vacuum insulation. It has two pressure relief valves to prevent escaping from the thermos. A thermal panel can be added to the thermos to increase efficiency and ensure that liquid Helium remains in space at low temperatures for several years.

Thermoses that store liquid Helium require elaborate methods of preservation. For instance, the atomic structure of liquid Helium makes it challenging to keep it in reusable containers. Besides, liquid Helium cannot be recovered by any other means than through precise and elaborate methods. However, liquid Helium is extremely difficult to recover compared to other liquified gases, which are not cooled by external heat.


Liquid Helium is a potent, non-toxic gas used in many high-tech applications. It is used to pressurize the fuel tanks of space shuttles, cool scientific payloads, as a protective gas in welding applications, and many other uses. This gas is used in various scientific research projects and is considered an essential element in fundamental science.

The US has a large amount of recoverable Helium. The US is the world’s largest gas producer, and in 1929, the Bureau of Mines facilitated helium extraction and refining programs. Until the 1960s, the US government monopolized helium production. Then, Congress amended the Helium Act to encourage natural gas producers to extract crude Helium and sell it to the government. In addition, much of the Helium was stored at the National Helium Reserve, where prices were fixed to pay for the NHR and cover debts.

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Liquid Helium is used in superconducting magnets and MRI scanners. It is also used in leak detection systems and the Large Hadron Collider. It is used for such high-volume applications because it is clean and free of impurities. However, the costs of storing liquid Helium in thermos have increased in recent years, and the future supply of liquid Helium has become uncertain.

Cryogenic dewars

Cryogenic dewars are used to store the gas. They are named after James Dewar and have walls constructed of two or more layers. These layers maintain a high vacuum, which slows the rate at which the gas boils away. They also take special precautions to manage the gas released during the boiling process. This article discusses the essential functions of cryogenic dewars and how they can be used in a scientific experiment.

A dewar can hold 4 liters of liquid Helium at 4.2 K. These are constructed of two concentric stainless steel cylinders, one with an inner diameter of 10 cm and the other with an outer diameter of 20 cm. These dewars are held in a high vacuum to prevent conductive or convective heat losses. Cryogenic dewars are typically used for research and distribution applications.

Cryogenic dewars can be made of aluminum, stainless steel, or fiberglass. The fill necks for aluminum dewars are custom designed and manufactured. The materials used in the process reduce thermal radiation losses by 92 percent. During the fabrication process, the dewars are subject to extensive corrosion. Consequently, they require frequent repair or replacement. Aside from this, a cryogenic dewar can last for decades and be used repeatedly.

Flow-through cryostats

The continuous-flow cryostat uses spherical geometry with 360-degree freedom of motion. It prevents dead angular zones in an Euler cradle and provides stable temperature regulation between three K and 300 K. This device has a low time constant. It is equipped with magnetically suspended helium ducts. It has been used at the ILL for five years.

The sample holder is attached to the bottom of the sample well. It can be rotated 360 degrees using the knob located on the cryostat’s rack panel. The angle of the sample probe can be adjusted using a dial on the top of the cryostat. The sample probe has a pin inserted into the opening of the sample space. It is permeable to He and can contaminate the sample space. To avoid contamination, it is best to keep the sample clean outside the cryostat. The sample probe’s end has a threaded part that can become unscrewed while turning. A procedure for adjusting the angle of the sample probe is illustrated below.

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During the 2016 AD, an upgrade to the cryostat was performed. It is now capable of refrigerating a superconducting magnet in a wind tunnel. Magnetic suspension theory describes the superconducting magnet. To reduce the outgassing of Helium, the liquid Helium must be kept below the critical temperature. It is possible to reduce the outgassing of the gaseous Helium using the thermal shield.

Using a thermos to store liquid Helium

A thermos is a container designed for storing liquid Helium. The cylinder itself is designed for storing liquid Helium at 4.2K, and its walls are kept at 77.3K. The vacuum gap between the cylinder and the lid prevents heat from escaping through conduction or convection. The emissivity of the metal is very low, around 0.3, making a thermos ideal for storing liquid Helium.

Thermoses have two primary uses. The first is for storing liquid Helium. Thermoses can hold various gases, such as nitrogen and argon. These gases are hazardous to handle, and keeping them in a thermos is the safest and most economical way. Thermoses also have many other uses.

Once the gas is cooled, it is transferred into the transport Dewar. The small membrane compressor operates automatically and has a flow rate of approximately 10 liters per minute. This means that the gas has time to thermalize inside the transport Dewar and stay at an upper level instead of vaporizing. The pumping speed is sufficient to reach overpressure within a few minutes. The recovery line must be monitored for helium loss.

Many people wonder why the Earth can’t hold Helium. But the gravity of Earth’s atmosphere is extreme. Think of Helium as being near the top of a density column. It is hundreds of miles above the surface of the Earth. Everything heavier than Helium is below it. When everything is heavier than Helium, it can no longer rise. And because of this, Helium is no longer a problem for our planet.

Natural radioactive decay

If the atmosphere had a helium-like density, it would be heavy enough to escape Earth’s gravity. But the problem is that the Earth’s gravity cannot hold this element. Thus, it runs into space. Therefore, the extraction of Helium from the atmosphere is not economical and not viable for world production. This is why it is produced only as by-products of natural gas processing.

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The problem is that Helium has a very small dielectric constant, which means that large voltages would be required to generate a force. And helium gas cannot sustain large voltages. One promising way to control the helium tide is surface tension. Surface tension increases with the surface area of the fluid. A toroidal tank would have many “modes” corresponding to waves running around the toroid. The frequency of these modes depends on how much free surface space is available for Helium to have.

If Earth’s gravity could be strong enough to hold Helium, it would have an outer layer of lighter gasses. This outer layer would be a permanent one. Since Earth’s atmosphere is a density column, the most delicate elements float on top. Everything heavier than Helium lies below it. If this were not the case, the outer layer of Helium would be permanently surrounded by more severe substances.

In the late 1800s, America thought Helium would turn the tide in World War I. It was considered a cutting-edge weapon of war and was widely believed to be an effective medium for air attacks. Meanwhile, the German zeppelins were deemed strategic weapons of their time. They drifted over civilian targets and dropped bombs from their gondolas.

The answer to this question lies in the physics of how Helium moves around the Earth. Earth’s gravity does not hold Helium because it does not have a mass big enough to keep it. Helium is heavier than water, and the temperature of its surrounding mass is higher. The difference between the two scenarios is that the temperature increase is slight, and the group would not withstand the heat of the Helium.

Since gravity cannot hold all the gases in an atmosphere forever, atmospheric escape is inevitable. The gas escapes from the atmosphere to outer space. It does this through a process called atmospheric decomposition. The probability of flight is determined by the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, which explains the likelihood of a rarefied gas’s escape. The mechanism of thermal escape is known as Jeans escape.

Escape velocity

What is the escape velocity of Helium from Earth’s gravity? This question has no simple answer. The rate of Helium in freefall depends on its initial speed at the surface of the Earth. If it were not propelled at this initial speed, it would be pulled back down to Earth by its gravitational pull. If it were forced, it would continue to move but at a slow pace.

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The average molecule of H2 is 1.92 km/s. If all hydrogen in the Moon were allowed to escape the Earth’s gravity, it would take a few days to reach space. Fortunately, there’s a more simple solution. The helium atom has an RMS speed of 11 km/s, the same as the escape velocity of an object from the Earth’s gravity.

This constant escape velocity of Helium from Earth’s gravity results from the continuous thermal energy in gas molecules. Lighter molecules move faster than heavy ones, and they all share energy. Therefore, the escape velocity of Helium from Earth’s gravity varies from instant to time. A few helium atoms have escaped Earth’s gravitational pull, but they can’t run the weight of the atmosphere, as they have been unable to reach space.

Another way to calculate the escape velocity of Helium is through the case. A ball weighing one kilogram does not escape the Earth’s gravity unless powered. A rocket near the surface of the Earth’s gravity requires more fuel, so the ball’s mass is irrelevant to the escape velocity. The helium ball will reach the space station if it reaches 9.8 m/s.

Using the same principle, individual molecules at the tail end of the helium distribution can reach the escape velocity. When they escape, the molecules must do so before another collision occurs. This is called the hydrodynamic escape. When the gases escape, they lose kinetic energy, measured as the difference in velocities. In this case, the gas escapes as a cone. The angle of the cone increases with increasing impact energy.

Because of its heaviness, the probability of Helium escaping from Earth’s gravity is low, and hydrogen is more likely to run. This difference is why it’s essential to calculate the escape velocity of hydrogen and Helium from Earth’s gravity before using any rocket to go up in space. No matter how much hydrogen and oxygen the atmosphere is made of, it must lose energy.

Limitation of helium supply

The Helium that we consume is generated deep underground in natural gas pockets. It is created by the natural radioactive decay of uranium and thorium and seeps up through Earth’s crust. Since Helium is so lightweight, it can easily escape from Earth’s gravitational pull. In 1882, it was found terrestrially in lava flowing from Mount Vesuvius.

Despite the demand for Helium, the world’s supply has not been replenished in the past few years. Though helium reserves are not depleted yet, the situation has already been made worse by the geopolitical climate in the Middle East. Qatar’s political crisis has forced it to close down two helium plants. But that doesn’t mean the problem is over yet.

The Earth’s gravitational pull limits the abundance of Helium on Earth. While the atmosphere is composed of hundreds of different elements, Helium sits near the top. Everything heavier than Helium is beneath Helium. When all the heavier elements are below Helium, the Helium will no longer rise. The planet’s gravitational pull will limit the amount of Helium available for human consumption.

This disequilibrium in the mantle and core chemical potential will cause 3He to leak out of the body and into the cover. Leaky 3He would be diluted with 4He before reaching the surface and releasing it as MORB. Hence, this limited supply will result in an unbalanced helium supply. This is not only problematic for the human race but also the environment.

Liquid Helium is essential in high-tech industries and defense technologies. It is used in rocket engine testing, particle accelerator magnets, commercial diving, and semiconductor chips. It also plays a vital role in medical imaging. High magnetic fields are needed in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Without liquid Helium, such high magnetic domains can’t be achieved. It is essential to understand the limits of helium supplies due to Earth’s gravity and the use of MRI in high-tech industries.

If we assume a limit to the amount of 3He derived from a planet’s atmosphere, the answer is no. If the Earth is undergoing a GSMO, its 3He abundance will be limited by the Earth’s gravity. We have to consider how much He escaped the mantle by accretion. If it is a small percentage of proto-mantle, then a considerable proportion of it remains molten and is therefore unavailable for use by humans.

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