Helium, the second most abundant element in the known universe, has multitudes of uses. A few of those uses are super cooling Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and the superconducting magnets in MRI scanners and NMR spectrometers. Helium is also used in barcode scanners at your local grocery store.
Helium was discovered first in 1868; Pierre J. C. Janssen travelled to India to measure the solar spectrum during a total eclipse and observed a new yellow line which indicated a new element. Joseph Norman Lockyer recorded the same line by observing the sun through London smog and, assuming the new element to be a metal, he named it helium.
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