An Occurrence of Helium in the Absence of Radio-Activity


I MENTIONED in NATURE a few weeks ago (January 17, p. 271) that I was engaged in examining the inert gases contained in ordinary (inactive) minerals. A result has been obtained so surprising that it seems worthy of immediate record. I have found that beryl contains a quantity of helium of quite a different order of magnitude from what is found in ordinary inactive minerals. Thus 250 grams of beryl from New Hampshire gave 4.2 c.c. of helium on heating. The mineral appears to be absolutely without radio-activity. A tray of the powder, placed in the case of an electroscope of exceptionally small natural leak, did not increase that leak to any measurable extent.

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STRUTT, R. An Occurrence of Helium in the Absence of Radio-Activity. Nature 75, 390 (1907).

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