Helium fun!

Why does your voice change when you inhale helium?

How you sound: characteristics of air+throat+mouth+nasal cavities +tongue+lips.

Helium is less dense than normal air, making it lighter.

  1. First of all: Helium is less dense than air; that’s why helium balloons rise.
  2. As a result of its lower density, sound travels 2½ times faster in helium than in air.
  3. The cords vibrate when air passes; higher lower pitches correspond to cords length and thickness.
  4. Faster speed means higher pitch, so as helium travels through your airway across the vocal cords, the pitch is much higher than usual.
  5. The more dense, or heavier, the gas, the slower the sound wave will travel.
  6. So by inhaling helium and using it as the source of the perceived sound, you are simply increasing the speed or frequency of your voice.
  7. If you inhaled a heavier gas, your voice would sound deeper.

Myths

Vocal cords are in the throat, at a  place call larynx (voice box)

FalseYour vocal cords are over worked when you inhale helium.

  • Your vocal chords are vibrating at the same speed as when you are using air.
  • The frequency of the sound heard by others is increased due to the wave traveling through helium much faster than through air.

On voice

  • Men have a lower pitch than women
  • Until puberty, the larynx of men is similar in size to that of females. From this point,means thyroid cartilage increases and they get the Addams apple.

On helium

Helium is number 2 on the Periodic table. The atomic number (2) indicates the number of electrons it has.

  • Helium has the lowest boiling and melting points of all the elements and as such exists only as a gas, except under extreme circumstances.
  • Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe and accounts for approximately 24% of the elemental gas in our galaxy.

Danger

  • Every time you inhale pure helium, you are not inhaling oxygen.
  • Whatever you do, never inhale helium from a high pressure tank!  (You dont want helium bubbles ready to give you a stroke)
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