RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Helium atoms. Computer artwork of atoms of Helium. The nucleus of Helium (orange) contains two protons and two neutrons. An electron cloud (pink) surrounds the nucleus, which in Helium contains two electrons orbiting in a single energy level. The number of electrically positive protons balances the number of electrically negative electrons to make the atom neutral overall. Helium is one of the noble gases. It is used for arc welding; as a coolant in nuclear reactors; for pressurising liquid fuelled rockets; in gas lasers and for filling balloons.
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