Joel Henry Hildebrand introduced helium, oxygen breathing mixture

Joel Henry Hildebrand – introducer of helium element

Category : Personalities
Published by : Data Research Analyst,

Biography & contributions

Joel Henry Hildebrand was born on November 16,1881 - died on April 30,1983. Hildebrand was an American educator and a pioneer chemist.His contributions towards chemistry is research specializing in liquids and nonelectrolyte solutions.Hildebrand was the first person coined the term regular solution.Hildebrand researched on liquids and nonelectrolyte solutions. Hildebrand realized that nitrogen gas dissolved in blood at high pressures and where as helium doens not cause the harmful effects in divers.


Hildebrand received distinguished service medal like Nichol medal in the year of 1939, King's medal in the year of 1948, Willard Gibbs medal in the year of 1953, Priestley medal in the year of 1962.

Hildebrand concluded that methane has a just a 40 per cent lower diffusivity in water than in carbon tetrachloride. If water was enclatherated or in an iceberg type structure then he predicted that this diffusivity difference between water and carbon tetrachloride ought to be significantly larger.

He deduced a formula for solubility of non electrolytes and it’s called ‘Hildebrand solubility parameter’

Δ = √( ΔHv – RT)/Vm

Important facts about Helium

Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe after hydrogen. It is a colorless and odorless inert gas that has unique properties.Helium has the lowest melting and boiling points.It exists as a gas except under extreme conditions.Helium is a non-renewable natural resource that is most commonly recovered from natural gas deposits.

A French astronomer, Pierre-Jules-César Janssen (1824-1907), first obtained evidence for the existence of helium during the solar eclipse of 1868 in India when he detected a new yellow line (587.49 nm) in the solar spectrum very close to the yellow sodium D-line. It was not possible to produce this line in the laboratory. Sir Norman Lockyer (1836-1920), an English astronomer, recognised that no known element at that time gave this line and named the element helium for the sun.

Helium is used as filler gas in balloons.It is also used in welding process.In industries helium us used as leak detector agent.As a propellant it can be used in rockets.Cylinders which are used by swim divers is filled with helium and oxygen gas.

More intake of helium into our body can cause following symptoms

  • Dizziness
  • Dullness
  • Headache
  • Suffocation

Regular solution

Regular solution is a solution that diverges from the behavior of an ideal solution only moderately.

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