Helium Structure,Characteristics:43 Complete Quick Facts

Helium is colorless non toxic gas mainly used as cooling agent. Let us talk about some important characteristics of helium structure in details below.

Helium structure is abundant element in universe and plays significant role in gas giant stars. Here through fusion reactions when helium nucleus generated, huge energy is released causes too much temperature.

Compact electronic arrangement causes the inertness nature of helium element. Let us discus the helium lewis structure and other facts with explanation.

How to draw Helium lewis structure?

Helium structure can be drawn by the atomic symbol of ‘He’ with outer orbit electron. Let us look at the following step to draw helium lewis structure.


This step needs to count total outer ‘K’ orbit electrons of helium element. Helium is in the 1st period of periodic table so have only 1s orbital. There are two unparallel electrons which are called valence electrons.

Step: 2

This step guides to draw helium structure with its atomic symbol ‘He’. The two valence electrons are drawn as dot signs around the symbol. As helium remains as pure monatomic element there is no chemical bond in helium structure.

Step: 3

This step of drawing helium structure requires checking of the lewis structure octet rule. As having only ‘K’ orbital, helium structure satisfies the duplet rule. According to this rule the 1s orbital of ‘K’ shell fully occupied.

helium structure
Helium structure

Helium lewis structure resonance

Possible canonical structures formed by delocalization of electron cloud are called resonance structures. Let us see if helium has this type of structure.

Helium lewis structure has no resonance structure. Helium is an inert element with one atom. There is no possibility of delocalization of electron cloud through chemical bond to produce canonical helium structure.

Helium lewis structure shape

Induced dipole moment distorted actual geometry then it is called shape of the compound determined by VSEPR theory. Let us find out shape of helium structure.

Helium lewis structure has spherical shape. Being a monatomic gas there is no chemical bond and as well as no charge separation. So the electron cloud around its nucleus appears as spherical in shape.

helium structure
Helium structure

Helium lewis structure formal charge

Formal charge is calculated for canonical structures having covalent bond. Let us figure out helium formal charge.

Helium lewis structure formal charge can’t be calculated as it is a monatomic element. So there is no covalent bond in lewis structure. Formal charge of an atom in molecule is calculated assuming that the bond electron cloud is equally shared. But in helium structure is not possible.

Helium lewis structure angle

In a compound the angle between bonds referred as structure angle. Let us find if helium structure has any angle.

Helium lewis structure has no angle. The structure angle is measured by distance in degree between the overlapping orbitals of chemical bond. Helium structure contains one atom and there is no chemical bond. The structure shows no possibility of bond angle.

Helium lewis structure octet rule

According to octet rule outer electronic wave function of an element can occupy maximum eight electrons. Let us detect if helium can fulfill this criteria.

Helium structure possesses duplet in spite of octate rule. As it only has 1s orbital. Helium can’t increase its orbit for the fixed position in Periodic table. So for helium noble gas structure this is an exception from other inert gases.  

Helium lewis structure lone pairs

Lone pairs are those electrons which not involve in any chemical bond formation. Let us find out this type of non bonding electrons for helium structure.

Helium lewis structure has two lone pairs. As a non reactive gas the two outer 1s orbital electrons don’t interact in normal condition remains as non bonding electrons.

Introducing laser if the helium structure is made to be excited in energy level then the electrons goes to higher excited state from ground state. This situation is called inversion population where the ground state electrons population decreased.

Helium valence electrons

In an element the electrons of last orbit (electronic wave function), are called valence electrons which has capability to interact. Let us know those of helium.

Helium structure has two valence electrons with opposite spin which are belongs to 1s orbital. So they can resolve the effects on each other. These electrons are in core orbital near nucleus so the effective charge is very much high and have high activation energy.

Helium hybridization

Hybridization is the intermixing of energetically different orbitals which will be able to produce a bond. Let us discus if core 1s orbital of helium can do this.

Helium structure can’t take part in hybridization as an inert nature element and only having 1s orbital. So there is no scope for mixing of orbitals in normal condition.

Helium solubility

Solubility of a substance (solute) is measure by the ability to interact with solvent molecules. Let us explore reason behind helium low solubility.

Solubility of helium in any substance is very much low. As noble gas helium does not interact to soluble in any substance in normal condition for example it is insoluble in ethanol.

  • For the same reason it is very slightly soluble in water which is around 0.97 mL/ 100 mL at 0̊ C.
  •  But can’t interact with water molecules.
  • Helium can’t soluble in other solvent.

Is helium diatomic?

Diatomic molecules have chemical interaction between two similar or different atoms. Let us find out this for helium.

Helium can’t be diatomic because being a noble gas member its outer orbit 1s is filled with electron. So there is lack of orbital which can accommodate the coming electron cloud when it tries to be diatomic.

Why and how helium is not diatomic?

Electronic configuration can show the possibility of chemical interaction. Let us explore further the arrangement which inhibits the diatomic formation.

Helium can’t be diatomic as two helium atoms never form a chemical bond for which it has to increase its orbit from ‘K’ to ‘L’ which is not possible for the fixed position of helium in Periodic table.

Is helium a noble gas?

Noble gases are the element in periodic table that prohibits the electronic interaction. Let us see the position of helium to detect the property.

Helium is a noble gas as satisfied the duplet structure and is in the 18th group in periodic table.

Why and how helium is a noble gas?

Energetically stable elements are noble gas with inertness. Let us explain the cause of the inertness of helium.

Helium is inert gas as outer 1s orbital filled with anti parallel spin electron. So ionization is difficult and no vacant space to accept electron.

Is helium polar or nonpolar?

Polar element has distorted charge separation basically due to electronegativity difference in chemical bond. Let us understand is it possible for helium.

Helium is nonpolar as a monatomic element. The electron cloud is symmetrically distributed around the nucleus. There is no chemical bond in helium structure which distorted the electronic cloud.

Why and how helium is nonpolar?

The vector property of electro- negativity difference can guide the polarity nature. Let us find the reason of nonpolarity for helium.

Helium is nonpolar as the spherical geometry of helium can’t be disturbed in normal condition. As there is no dipole moment which is the multiplication of separated charge and distance between them, causes the polarity in molecule.

Is helium a metal or nonmetal?

Metals can easily transfer electron while nonmetals have tendency to accept electrons. Let us talk about this from helium perspective.

Helium is a non metal which can be understood by its position on the Periodic table. It is in the 18th group, the most right group in the table so the non-metallic nature is greater in the element.

Why and how helium is nonmetal?

Electron sharing capability, low boiling point can explain the non metallic nature of helium. Let us find out why helium nonmetal.

Helium is non metal as it can’t donate any electron from its filled outer shell 1s, as it is energy required process. Boiling point of helium is very low which is around 4.21 K that is (-268.9̊ C) because there is only weak interaction.

Is helium flammable?

Flammable gas is easily reacts in oxidation reaction and catch fire. Let us see if this possible for helium.

Helium is not a flammable gas rather it is an inert gas which can’t take part in redox reactions. That is because in normal condition it has stable electronic structure which is fully filled with electron cloud.

Why and how helium is nonflammable?

As a non flammable gas helium has many uses. Let us explore the uses of helium for the property.

Helium is not flammable as it can’t increase its oxidation state for the stable configuration. Rather it is used as cooling agent in many places like in NMR or IR spectra machine to maintain the very low temperature while the sample is recorded as helium is inert in nature.

Is helium stable?

Only fully filled electronic orbits can give element stability energetically. Let us discus the stability factor for helium configurations.

Helium is stable because of its filled core orbital which is not participate in bond forming interaction. Because this needed some activation energy which disturbed the fully filled electronic structure.

Why and how helium is stable?

Helium has energetically stable electronic structure. Let us understand this structural stability of helium.

Helium stay as inert element as it only has ‘K’ orbit which contains 1s orbital (wave function with specific energy). Maximum two opposite spin electrons can occupy the orbital, which can be seen in the helium electronic configuration.

Is helium an element?

Chemical elements are pure substances with specific electronic configuration. Let us know if helium can be called an element.

Helium is one of the lightest elements found in the universe with atomic number 2. That is the number of positively charged particles in the nucleus; among the known 118 elements which are arranged in the Periodic table.

Why and how helium is an element?

Elements can’t be broke down, if then the property changes results a new element. Let us identify the reason as helium called an element.

Helium is a chemical element as it can’t be broken down further in any chemical reaction to produce any other element with same chemical and physical property where the nucleons remain same.

Is helium a gas?

Gas is a state of matter with lower density than solid or liquid without any shape. Let us figure out if we can call helium a gas.

Helium is an elemental noble gas which is composed with one atom only with lowest number of neutron result the lightness of the gas and its abundance in universe.

Why and how helium is gas?

The gas state of matter can occupy containers shape and volume for its weak interaction. Let us figure out the gaseous nature of helium.

Helium is gas with low boiling point. Its vapor pressure is very much low, so the element is in gas state even at room temperature where there is no strong force of attraction between the gas atoms.

Is helium a pure substance?

Pure substances can’t be divided further without breaking chemical bonding structure. Let us see if helium can be a pure substance.

Helium is pure substance as we can’t find any other element if we broke helium. It is an element with specific mass number that distinguish the element from others.

Why and how helium is pure substance?

Pure substances have their specific properties not like mixtures. Let us find out the reason as we call helium pure substance.

Helium is non reactive in nature to maintain the energetically stable electronic configuration so it can’t form mixture compound with other elements. It stays as monatomic pure element.

Is helium cation or anion?

Cation or anion is charged particles with more or less electron than pure element. Let us explore if helium has such configuration.

Helium is neither cation nor anion. As to become an ion helium element has to accept or donate electron which is not possible for its full filled electronic shell.  

Why and how helium is not cation or anion?

The activation energy can explain the reason for ion formation. Let us see reason for helium to be neutral gas.

Helium can’t produce cation or anion as extra stabilization energy is needed which is very high to disturb the stable configuration.

Is helium conductive?

Conductive elements are those which can transfer energy thermally or electronically. Let us find if helium can carry energy.

Helium has thermal conductive nature which can be explained by the kinetic gas theory but it is not electronic conductor which can be explained by the inert gas nature.

Why and how helium is conductive?

Elements with electronic conductivity have free electrons in valence band which easily go to conduction band. Let us understand this from helium perspective.

Being one of the lightest gases, helium is thermally conductive but electrically insulator for having stable electronic configuration. As a noble gas there is no loosely bound electron in helium gas which can produce conductivity.

In the plasma state the electrons are not bound together which results a high electronic conductivity for helium.

Is helium compressible?

Compressibility of a substance is measured by the amount of decrease in volume when it is pressurized. Let us explore the fact compressibility for helium.

Helium is compressible at very low temperature under huge pressure around 25 bar  helium can converted to solid state from liquid. At this time the volume is decreased in great percentage compared to gas phase.

Why and how helium is compressible?

Compressibility of gas is higher than solid or liquid asthe atoms in solid or liquid are well arranged. Let us know the result of compressibility on helium.   

As a light gas helium atoms are randomly spread but near 1 to 1.5 K on 2.6 MPa pressure helium can be solidified. In this state it is 50 times more compressible than water under pressure.

Is helium corrosive?

Ductility is the measure of sustainability of a material on elongation commonly seen in metals. Let us talk about this if it possible for helium.

Helium can’t be ductile as a gas if we remove mechanical workload it again goes back to its previous shape. So there is no stability in the certain manufacturing.

Why and how helium is not corrosive?

Corrosion occurs due to mainly oxidation where the corrosive element behaves as oxidizing agent. Let us explore this in case of helium.

Helium is not corrosive element as to be this it has to oxidize other element and has to accept electron. But being a 1st period element in group 18 it can’t increase its orbit number to take the coming electron cloud.

Is helium ductile?

Material can be ductile with metallic bond present in it and can be stretched. Let us understand the fact if helium can be ductile or not.

Simply helium is not ductile as being gas in normal condition. We can’t deform this into new shape from where it can’t back to its previous formation.

Why and how helium is not ductile?

Ductility is the measure of sustainability of a material on elongation commonly seen in metals. Let us talk about this if it possible for helium.

Helium can’t be ductile as a gas if we remove mechanical workload it again goes back to its previous shape so there is no stability in the certain manufacturing.

Is helium denser than air?

At fixed pressure and temperature gas occupying certain volume, referred as density of the gas. Let us explore density difference between air and helium.

Helium is not denser than air as air is mixture of different gases and other particles where helium is one of the lightest gases. At 0̊ C at the sea level 22.4 liters of helium gas weight as its mole gram that is 4 gram while 22.4 liters of air weight is nearly 28.9 gram.

Why and how helium is not denser than air?

Neutrons are heavier particles in nucleus. Helium atomic structure can guide the density difference respect to air.

Helium is much less denser than air as it is a two neutron system element. Also for electronic stability remains as inert gas become light gas element. For this it is used to detect leakage in pipeline.

Is helium heavier than hydrogen?

Heavier elements are formed due to difference in neutron as it is much heavier than other particles. Let us understand this property with helium perspective.

Helium is heavier as atomic mass of helium is near 4.002602 u where 1.00784 u for hydrogen. The nucleus structure difference causes the values.

Why and how helium is heavier than hydrogen?

In spite of being in same period helium is heavier. Let us observe the nucleus arrangement of the two elements.

The fact can be understood as helium contains two neutrons with two protons in nucleus. Where hydrogen stable isotope has only one proton in nucleus without neutron causes Hydrogen lighter.

Is helium dipole dipole?

Dipole-dipole interaction caused due to the unequal charge distribution. Let us know the type of interaction helium has.

Helium possesses weak London force which is between induced dipole-induced dipole interactions. There is no permanent dipole moment in helium structure for stable electron cloud distribution.

Why and how helium has dipole dipole interaction?

In normal condition we see the weak interaction in helium. Let us see the cause behind the interaction of helium.

Being monatomic gas helium has on permanent dipole, so there is no strong attraction force. For which it can remain in liquid form even at 0̊ C.

Is helium diamagnetic or paramagnetic?

Electron’s spin arrangement in orbital can causes the different magnetic nature. Let us talk about this magnetic nature of helium.

Helium is diamagnetic as there are two electrons in opposite spin in its 1s orbital. There is no other unpaired electron so the net magnetic momentum equals to zero.

Why and how helium is diamagnetic?

1s electron’s spin direction can define magnetic property of helium. Let us find out this in any applied external magnetic field.

Diamagnetic nature of helium is because of parallel electrons in ‘K’ orbit. They can cancel out the spin effects of each other. if external magnetic field is applied then induced dipole of helium is slightly repelled by the field.

Is helium electronegative?

Electronegativity of an element is measured as the capability to attract the electron cloud towards it.  Let us discus this attracting property for helium.

Helium is not electronegative as it is noble gas. It is inert in nature do not interact with other elements so there is no possibility to attract electron cloud.  

Why and how helium is non electronegative?

Full filled outer ‘K’ orbit causes no affinity towards attracting electron cloud. Let us understand this inertness of helium.

Pauling scale of electronegativity shows no value of electronegativity for helium. As it is a 1st period element, it can’t increase its orbit number to accommodate the coming electron cloud if it attracts.

Is helium finite?

Finite are those natural source which depleted part can be replaced while uses. Let us find out amount of resource of helium.

Helium is not finite in earth’s atmosphere. It mainly find as byproduct of natural gas which is produced in earth crust from heavy metals which can’t be renewable.  

Why and how helium is finite?

Helium is one of the abundant gases in universe; in spite of that it can be found in trace amount in earth. Let us explain the reason behind this.

Helium is not finite as it can’t from bond with other elements for its filled orbital. So that it can’t be found in any other sources and for the lightness it expands easily out of the gravity zone of earth.

Is helium ionic or covalent?

Elements have Ionic or covalent nature by capacity of electron transition. Let us understand helium electronic property.

Helium can’t be ionic or covalent as it does not transfer or share electron cloud with other elements for its inert nature in normal condition due to fixed number of its orbital.

Why and how helium is not ionic or covalent?

Helium can’t transfer electron cloud but can go to exited state and can react with environment electron cloud. Let us explain further this eximer compound.

In specific circumstances if we excited helium then it can form eximer that is dimer only stay in the excited state. If this goes back to ground state there will be no dimer. This is energetically unstable in this state.

Is helium malleable?

Malleability usually shown by metals which shape can be distorted. Let us talk if it possible for helium.

Helium can’t show malleability as it is not possible to solidify the gas under normal condition. So we can’t produce any thin sheets by beating this element.

Why and how helium is not malleable?

A material is malleable if this can be given a new shape by pressing it without breaking. Let us find the cause of non- malleability of helium.

Being light gas helium does not show malleability. Even at absolute zero temperature its zero point energy is very high so that helium does not freeze. In spite of solid phase it can remain as super- liquid (plasma phase).

Is helium natural or synthetic?

Natural elements can be found in nature while synthetic compounds are prepared in laboratory in different condition. Let us explore the source of helium.

Helium is a naturally occurring gas which is expected to be produced in the fusion or fission reactions of the stars. Here the particles are combined and mass to energy conversion occurs with increase in temperature.

Why and how helium is natural?

Helium is also found as byproduct of natural gas in earth crust from few specific geological locations in small amount. Let us know about this.

The noble gas only synthesized in nuclear reactions which is commercially problematic. In earth crust there are different heavy radioactive elements (like Uranium), after decay which produces alpha particles that are the nucleus of helium molecules.

Is helium odorless?

Odor is caused by volatile nature, normally property of organic compounds. Let us see if helium has some odor.

Helium is odorless gas as after vaporization helium molecules have to dissolve in the mucus to be carried out up to the smell receptors. Being slightly soluble in water not much molecules can interact in the process.

Why and how helium is odorless?

To have odor the element must have specific shape. Let us understand the shape fact.

Helium is odorless. After dissolving in small amount in mucus helium molecules reach to the smell receptors. Where the molecules can’t match the shape of the receptors which is based on the ‘lock and key’ mechanism.

Is helium organic or inorganic?

Organic compounds must have Carbon atom while inorganic elements are arranged in Periodic table. Let us find which chemistry helium belongs to.

Helium is an inorganic compound as we can know about the element from the Periodic table where helium is in the 1st period and 18th group as an inert gas.

Why and how helium is inorganic?

Inorganic compound can’t form chain structure like carbon in organic compound. Let us explain this elemental nature of helium.

Being inorganic compound helium does not contain any carbon- hydrogen (C-H) bond and form long compound structure. While it contains only one atom and it is non- metal element as is in the right sided group in the Periodic table.

Is helium radioactive?

Radioactive property changes the nuclear structure of element with emission of different particles. Let us know if that can be possible for helium.

Normally helium is not radioactive rather it has most stable electronic configuration as a noble gas. For example the most commonly found helium-4 isotope.

Why and how helium is radioactive?

Helium has many isotopes with same proton number in its nucleus. Let us see if some of them can show radioactivity.

Helium can be radioactive for few of its isotopes which decay rapidly with short life time. As an example helium-6 decay and produce a beta particle which has half life about 0.8 sec.

Is helium reactive?

An element is reactive when it can transfer or share electron cloud with chemical environment. Let us explore if this possible for helium.

Being inert gas helium is nonreactive in normal conditions. As filled shell does not interact with other elements through creating a bond due to lack of vacant orbital.

Why and how helium is reactive?

In spite of energetically stable structure, helium can form compound. Let us find out the reason behind this.

Modern research found that helium can interact with sodium and form a stable structure where interaction is between charged sublattice and localized electron cloud without proper chemical bond.

Is helium volatile?

Volatility measured as how easily substance evaporates from liquid phase. Let us explore if helium is volatile.

Helium is most volatile element with very low melting point in the gas giant where temperature is under 100 K according to planetary science.

Why and how helium is volatile?

Organic compounds are found to be more volatile in nature. Let us find out how inorganic element helium becomes volatile.

Helium can be most volatile element in liquid form which can’t be attained at normal condition. It is only possible at lowest temperature around 4 K.

Is helium zero valent?

Valency refers to free electrons of outer shell which can interact. Let us discus valency of helium.

Helium is zero valent as being a noble gas it satisfies the duplet rule and there is no free electrons which can produce chemical bond.

Why and how helium is zero valent?

High effective nuclear charge also effect helium’s valency. Let us explain this z effect fact.

The zero valency of helium is because of two electrons of 1s orbital are tightly bound by nuclear force as ‘s’ is core orbital. So electron can’t be removed from here easily.


All the properties helium show for its inertness having filled 1s orbital with opposite spin direction.

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Triyasha Mondal

Hi...I am Triyasha Mondal, pursuing M.Sc in Chemistry. I am an enthusiastic learner. My specialization is in physical chemistry. Let's connect through LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/triyasha-mondal-a4b553249

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