Helium is not mohair

Reader comment on: Federal Helium Program Rises Again

Submitted by Jerry (United States), May 18, 2012 17:28

I'm a scientist who used to work in a lab that used helium for cryogenics, and we discussed the helium problem a lot; in fact, we ordered ours from Amarillo. While it is easy to say it matters to just a few privileged scientists, it has a deeper impact than mohair or most other subsidies. A lot of fundamental research on semiconductors, and even some industrial processing cannot be done without helium. Helium as we know it is non-renewable, and the reserves have not been estimated accurately. What is known is that it is necessary for a lot of scientific research, and some industrial production. If we run out, there are no substitutes for even remotely equal cost, and that extra cost would be borne by the consumers of scientific research and electronics. One of the more or less justifiable government functions, in my estimation.

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Other reader comments on this item

Title By Date
Bingaman's illogic [35 words]DavidMay 20, 2012 13:30
⇒ Helium is not mohair [145 words]JerryMay 18, 2012 17:28
Helium is one of the most plentiful elements in the universe [79 words]Old_SaltJun 4, 2012 22:57
According to news reports the feds are having a fire sale on helium. [37 words]LyleMay 18, 2012 09:36

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