Harvard’s Helium Troubles

It’s often said that you can’t stop progress. 

But apparently, it is possible if the progress you’re trying to make involves the use of helium. 

This is something Harvard University has been grappling with for a while now. The helium shortage is bringing a stop to a wide range of scientific research conducted at the school. 

All of the big scientific disciplines have been affected: physics, engineering, chemistry, biology, medical research, and so on. 

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Liquid helium has been a core component in research in these areas. Sixteen different Nobel Prizes have been generated by work using the element. 

At Harvard, a physics professor has said that he has had to shut down half of his lab’s research activities because he couldn’t secure the helium needed to use cryogenic instruments. That’s because helium is used as a coolant to achieve extremely low temperatures. The instruments in this case are known as cryostats. These are devices used to maintain low temperatures of samples within them. 

Harvard’s Helium Troubles.

With a cryostat, scientists can study the behavior of materials under these extreme conditions. In particular, this device is used to preserve tissue samples and slice sections of them thin enough to examine under a microscope. This is all key to diagnosing diseases and medical conditions. 

It’s important to keep these samples in cryogenic temperatures (-238 degrees F to -460 F). That range makes it possible to slow biological processes down nearly to the point of stopping them completely, allowing researchers to study them. 

So without the helium needed to operate these machines, that research halts. This affects everyone from working scientists to grad students working on their theses. It would also affect the prospects of future students wanting to work in these labs. 

The university’s work in the area of mass spectrometry is also affected. This is a field of research that measures and identifies the composition of substances. It can be used to test and identify toxins in air, water, and soil. It can also be used to identify the compounds that make up potential pharmaceuticals. 

Like the cryostats, mass spectrometers rely on helium to be able to operate. Without a steady supply, researchers would have to shut machines down. This ripples out to other labs that depend on the work of the mass spectrometer lab. 

And the helium shortage doesn’t stop there. 

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As mentioned, the element is used in other fields of study, like astrophysics. Here, helium is used in cooling systems for powerful telescopes that help scientists gain insight into the early universe. 

This all only scratches the surface of how the helium crisis has affected the university and other areas, but it’s a window into just how dire the situation is. 

It’s why you’re going to be hearing a lot more talk about helium suppliers over the next few years. Demand is outpacing what little supply is out there. Companies are using that to their advantage to get ahead in the market. Fortunes are being made for the companies and their investors. 

One particular company is on the verge of doing that right here in North America.

Very soon, it will bring its helium plant online. This plant will be one of only a handful on the continent. 

That means everyone from Harvard, to medical device manufacturers, chipmakers, and the space industry is going to be knocking on its doors. 

It already has customers and can demand a premium for this essential element. 

There isn’t much time to invest in this company before it begins production, so you will want to do that right away. 

Take a look at what this company is doing and why it’s one of the best helium stocks to invest in.

Ryan Stancil

Ryan Stancil
Editor, Daily Profit Cycle