Letter | Published:

On the State in which Helium Exists in Minerals

Nature volume 71, pages 248249 (12 January 1905) | Download Citation



IN 1898 I published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society the results of some experiments on the evolution of gases from minerals on heating them. I succeeded in proving that the hydrogen and carbon monoxide in the gases could be accounted for quantitatively by the reduction of water vapour and carbon dioxide by ferrous oxide, or by similar substances, and that, except in cases in which cavities could be proved to exist, the evolution of a gas from a mineral implied chemical change at the moment of heating. In the cases in which helium was evolved on heating, a mineral, I pointed out that by the action of heat it is possible to obtain only half the helium, though the evolution of this gas never really ceases, but only becomes very slow. This I took to be evidence of the existence of a chemical compound of helium with some constituent of the mineral.

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  1. University College, Bristol.



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