A Ton of Helium!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by orangemacapple, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

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    #1
    a kid asked me today – How much would a ton of helium weigh?

    i was flummoxed. i'd never thought about weighing helium.

    i'd heard the question asked about a ton of bricks and a ton of feathers, but never a ton of helium!

    what would you do? turn a scale upside down, fill a balloon and gauge it that way?
    how big a balloon would you need (cubic feet, i suppose)?
     
  2. ghall macrumors 68040

    ghall

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  3. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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  4. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #4
    A ton is a measure of weight, therefore a ton of helium would weigh a ton. :rolleyes:

    Silliest Thread of 2007! :D
     
  5. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #5
    That is, assuming we still have a ton left! ...We are experiencing a worldwide shortage of helium at the moment.
     
  6. ghall macrumors 68040

    ghall

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    #6
    The year is still young. ;)
     
  7. njmac macrumors 68000

    njmac

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    #7
    When you heard the question asked about a ton of bricks and a ton of feathers... um, I'm just curious here... but what was your answer?
     
  8. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    #8
    Uh...do you have a link to that or something? I can't believe it without a link.;)

    Anyway, I read somewhere that a ton of helium wieghs about 22 pounds (Don't quote me on that though, I'm not exactly sure)
     
  9. lancestraz macrumors 6502a

    lancestraz

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    #9
    Gaa! What will we use to get squeaky voices?

    This is ridic… Oh s***! My house is on fire! Quick! Quick! What's the number for 911?!!
     
  10. lexus macrumors 68000

    lexus

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    #10
    Are you serious?
     
  11. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

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    #11
    Only if you redefine a ton to equal 22 pounds. Otherwise, a ton = a ton...why does this topic even exist....

    --Eric
     
  12. orangemacapple thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    but since helium has a negative weight (that's why balloons fly) would you use an "upside down" scale"?

    maybe like a boat -- you don't weigh the boat, you weigh the water.
     
  13. lancestraz macrumors 6502a

    lancestraz

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    #13
    What about liquid helium?
     
  14. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #14
    No, helium does not have negative weight. That term doesn't mean anything. The balloon and the helium in it have weight. It's merely that the helium-filled balloon weighs LESS than the air it displaces, thus it floats.
     
  15. orangemacapple thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    i've never heard of liquid helium. liquid hydrogen either for that matter.
    liquid nitrogen, yeah.
     
  16. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

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    #16
    Sounds about right. :rolleyes:
     
  17. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #17
    Ah, Wikipedia, is there anything you DON'T know? :D
     
  18. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

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    #18
  19. orangemacapple thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    ok, liquid helium at absolute zero.
    i think my scales might freeze up.
     
  20. johnee macrumors 6502a

    johnee

    #20
    wow, this is by far a thread I will avoid contributing to (;) )

    oh the irony :D :D

    really, i can't believe what i'm reading here.

    killmoms said
    which is correct. 1 gram of helium takes up more volume than 1 gram of the surrounding atmosphere. by the density equation :
    p = m / v
    where : p=density, m=mass, and v=volume,

    we see the larger the volume (for same mass), the lower the density. Less dense objects are squeezed above objects with higher density. Ice is less dense than water, so it floats. if you could see it at an atomic level, you would basically see a fight between molecules of higher mass and molecules of lower mass to get to the surface of the earth. the higher the density of heavier molecules, the more they push the lighter molecules out of their way.
     
  21. orangemacapple thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    so, how BIG is 2,000 pounds of helium at 70 ˚ at sea level here on earth?
     
  22. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #22
    You Americans so need to get into the habit of using SI units.

    At 273K the balloon would be approximately 24.2 m in diameter

    This assumes that a ton of material is equal to 1000 kg

    OR if you want a ton to be 20o0lb then the balloon would 23.5 m in diameter
     
  23. johnee macrumors 6502a

    johnee

    #23
    All I could find right now is this : Density = (@ 0 °C, 101.325 kPa) 0.1786 g/L
    from wikipedia.

    for these conditions,

    v = m / p = (2000lbs * A g / 1 lb) L / 0.1786 g

    find out how many grams are in 1 lb, and replace that value for A, then solve.
     
  24. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #24
    More accurately, you weigh the amount of water that the boat displaces when its floating on the surface. (Displacement)
     
  25. mpw Guest

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