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Helium and Xenon – Comparison – Properties

This article contains comparison of key thermal and atomic properties of helium and xenon, two comparable chemical elements from the periodic table. It also contains basic descriptions and applications of both elements. Helium vs Xenon.

helium and xenon - comparison

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Helium and Xenon – About Elements


It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, monatomic gas, the first in the noble gas group in the periodic table. Its boiling point is the lowest among all the elements.


Xenon is a colorless, dense, odorless noble gas found in the Earth’s atmosphere in trace amounts.[10] Although generally unreactive, xenon can undergo a few chemical reactions. Xenon was first discovered in 1898 by the Scottish chemist William Ramsay and English chemist Morris Travers. The name xenon for this gas comes from the Greek word ξένον [xenon], neuter singular form of ξένος [xenos], meaning ‘foreign(er)’, ‘strange(r)’, or ‘guest’. In nuclear industry, especially artificial xenon 135 has a tremendous impact on the operation of a nuclear reactor. For physicists and for reactor operators, it is important to understand the mechanisms that produce and remove xenon from the reactor to predict how the reactor will respond following changes in power level.

Helium in Periodic Table

Xenon in Periodic Table

Source: www.luciteria.com

Helium and Xenon – Applications


Helium is used for many purposes that require some of its unique properties, such as its low boiling point, low density, low solubility, high thermal conductivity, or inertness. Of the 2014 world helium total production of about 32 million kg (180 million standard cubic meters) helium per year, the largest use (about 32% of the total in 2014) is in cryogenic applications, most of which involves cooling the superconducting magnets in medical MRI scanners and NMR spectrometers. Most clinical magnets are superconducting magnets, which require liquid helium to keep them very cold.


Xenon is useful in the following applications. The white flash of light produced by xenon makes it suitable for usage in strobe lights and to power ruby lasers. Xenon is used in light-emitting devices called xenon flash lamps, used in photographic flashes and stroboscopic lamps.

Helium and Xenon – Comparison in Table


Element Helium Xenon
Density 0.00018 g/cm3 0.0059 g/cm3
Ultimate Tensile Strength N/A N/A
Yield Strength N/A N/A
Young’s Modulus of Elasticity N/A N/A
Mohs Scale N/A N/A
Brinell Hardness N/A N/A
Vickers Hardness N/A N/A
Melting Point -272.2 °C -111.8 °C
Boiling Point -268.9 °C -107.1 °C
Thermal Conductivity 0.1513 W/mK 0.00565 W/mK
Thermal Expansion Coefficient — µm/mK — µm/mK
Specific Heat 5.193 J/g K 0.158 J/g K
Heat of Fusion 0.0138 kJ/mol 2.297 kJ/mol
Heat of Vaporization 0.0845 kJ/mol 12.636 kJ/mol