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Thread: Adding Helium And False Amps???

  1. #51
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    I use a very short taper and let it ball as I weld (thoriated), but higher amp issues can be solved by switching to 5/32" tungsten

    I have some for my wp-26 thanks to MJD

    Pretty sure I've seen where shovelon has said he uses even larger tungsten sometimes.
    I believe in one thread he stated 1/4". I can't imagine how long it would take to sharpen a pack of those! Just going from 3/32 to 1/8" seemed like it took an eternity to sharpen, for me anyway. It's the worst thing about tig welding, IMO.
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    Quote Originally Posted by Teggy1 View Post
    I believe in one thread he stated 1/4". I can't imagine how long it would take to sharpen a pack of those! Just going from 3/32 to 1/8" seemed like it took an eternity to sharpen, for me anyway. It's the worst thing about tig welding, IMO.
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    I use a very short taper and let it ball as I weld (thoriated), but higher amp issues can be solved by switching to 5/32" tungsten

    I have some for my wp-26 thanks to MJD

    Pretty sure I've seen where shovelon has said he uses even larger tungsten sometimes.
    The majority of my work uses up to 1/8". I do use 5/32" with the SW450.
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  4. #54
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    Random thought - if I'm understanding this thread correctly, helium mix will have a higher welding voltage shown on the digital screens than an equivalent pure argon welding voltage at the same set amperage.

    Would a simple comparison of overall wattage suffice for figuring equivalent comparative settings?

    Maybe someone listed this idea already and I missed it - likely didn't read them all.
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    I think there are more complex factors. You weld faster, this limits heat lost to remote corners of the workpiece. I don't think just the difference in watts is the only consideration.

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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    Dave,

    I don't have all the facts, but what research I've done suggests that the difference between using Helium or Helium/Argon mixes, and straight Argon, is tied to the ability of Helium to conduct heat much more effectively than Argon does. The amount of heat energy in the arc is more or less the same, but that heat is conducted to the work piece much more effectively by Helium. Why this is true is a mystery to me at this point.


    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    Random thought - if I'm understanding this thread correctly, helium mix will have a higher welding voltage shown on the digital screens than an equivalent pure argon welding voltage at the same set amperage.

    Would a simple comparison of overall wattage suffice for figuring equivalent comparative settings?

    Maybe someone listed this idea already and I missed it - likely didn't read them all.
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    Quote Originally Posted by A_DAB_will_do View Post
    Dave,
    heat is conducted to the work piece much more effectively by Helium. Why this is true is a mystery to me at this point.
    Helium has a much greater thermal conductivity than other shielding gasses. Much like Copper has greater thermal conductivity than iron/steel. Given Equal potential voltage and current input, Helium delivers more energy through it's plasma stream.

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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    Quote Originally Posted by A_DAB_will_do View Post
    Dave,

    I don't have all the facts, but what research I've done suggests that the difference between using Helium or Helium/Argon mixes, and straight Argon, is tied to the ability of Helium to conduct heat much more effectively than Argon does. The amount of heat energy in the arc is more or less the same, but that heat is conducted to the work piece much more effectively by Helium. Why this is true is a mystery to me at this point.
    This thread (very long) on AWS from 2009 seems to cover it pretty well?
    (although one of the longest posts is mainly referring to GMAW)

    https://app.aws.org/forum/topic_show.pl?tid=23466

    One of the Quotations in that thread:

    "ASM metals handbook volume 6, Welding Brazing soldering

    "The ionization potential is the energy, expressed in electron volts, necessary to remove an electron from a gas atom-- making it an ion, or an electrically charged gas atom. All other factors held constant, the value of the ionization potential decreases as the molecular weight of the gas increases. Arc starting and arc stability are greatly influenced by the ionization potentials of the component shielding gases used in welding process. A gas with a low ionization potential, such as argon, can (turn) atoms into ions easily. Helium, with its significantly higher ionization potential, produces a harder to start, less stable arc.

    Although other factors are involved in sustaining the plasma, the respective energy levels required to ionize these gases must be maintained; as a consequence, the arc voltage is directly influenced.
    For equivalent arc lengths and welding currents, the voltage obtained with helium is appreciably higher than is with argon. This translates into more available heat input to the base material with helium than with argon. ""
    A member named Henry posted this reference:

    "Modern Welding Technology 4th Edition, Howard B. Cary.

    Now let's go back towards the front of the book to page 74: "The voltage of a Helium shielded arc is higher than that of an Argon shielded arc for the same length carrying the same current. This is due to the(Once again!) Higher Ionization potential for Helium which is 24.5 v. the ionization potential for Argon is only 15.7 V. The Ionization potential is the voltage necessary to remove an electron from a gas atom, making it an ion or a charged atom. The Helium arc column is larger and has deeper penetration. This is why the arc shielded with Helium has more power (Heat) and can do more work. The Helium shielded arc column is larger, produces more penetration, can use a higher travel speed, and can weld heavier base metals provided that all of the parameters are strictly maintained and controlled in such a manner where only mechanized/automated applications can provide such consistent results when compared to manual applications which show erratic arc characteristics, and inconsistencies due to the constant changes in parameters because of manual changes that are unpredictable in the human positioning of the torch.""
    Last edited by MinnesotaDave; 04-03-2017 at 12:07 PM.
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    Wire two identical 120 Volt light bulbs in series, supply them with 240 volts, all is well. Use a 100 watt, and a 60 watt, that 240 volts will not be divided evenly. The one with greater electrical resistance will get most of the voltage. As voltage rises, so does amperage. It soon gets over hot. This principal explains why electrical fires are caused by loose connections.

    A welding arc offering more impedance, or resistance, will be of higher amperage. In TIG we control amps, volts are a function of machine, and arc length. My unproven conjecture is that higher volts means higher watts. In other words, higher volts give more heat.

    As for higher heat conductivity, maybe that is a secondary factor.

    Willie
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    In the light bulb analogy, current is equal in both bulbs. Current is always equal in all devices in a series circuit. Voltage is just a potential, current is the actual energy transfer medium.

    Put them in parallel, and then voltage is equal for both while current favors the lower resistance.

    Mixing gasses changes several factors; Electrical resistance, thermal conductivity, density, and a few others that don't come to mind I'm sure. It's not easy thing to analogize.

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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    Wire two identical 120 Volt light bulbs in series, supply them with 240 volts, all is well. Use a 100 watt, and a 60 watt, that 240 volts will not be divided evenly. The one with greater electrical resistance will get most of the voltage. As voltage rises, so does amperage. It soon gets over hot. This principal explains why electrical fires are caused by loose connections.

    A welding arc offering more impedance, or resistance, will be of higher amperage. In TIG we control amps, volts are a function of machine, and arc length. My unproven conjecture is that higher volts means higher watts. In other words, higher volts give more heat.

    As for higher heat conductivity, maybe that is a secondary factor.

    Willie
    In post #54 I guessed that the higher voltage of the Helium arc should translate to more wattage (if amps are constant). The article quotes that I posted appear to support that?

    However, there also seem to be other factors....still pondering...
    Last edited by MinnesotaDave; 04-03-2017 at 01:05 PM.
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    When welding, you are using several types of energy transfer. The weld current causes molecular electron friction of the base metal, increasing the thermal state of the molecules; AKA heat. The plasma stream is extremely hot, and by direct conduction it transfers it's energy to the metal it touches.

    Its like simultaneously using a gas range and an induction range to cook the same pot of water, where the induction element heats the base metal by causing a strong current in the pot by way electromagnetic conduction (induction), and the gas element conducts thermal energy directly by way of hot burnt gas.

    Think of helium as being a gas that conducts less electrical current (presents more resistance, and thus the measured voltage potential increases), but conducts plasma thermal energy 10x's better than argon.

    The voltage increases because it requires more voltage to produce the target current. We utilize current to do our work, and the voltage is what gets altered to achieve that current. Increase the voltage to overcome the greater electrical resistance of the Helium and you restore target current, the basemetal gets just as hot as it does with lower voltage Argon.
    Last edited by Chad86tsi; 04-03-2017 at 01:25 PM.

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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    This thread (very long) on AWS from 2009 seems to cover it pretty well?
    (although one of the longest posts is mainly referring to GMAW)

    https://app.aws.org/forum/topic_show.pl?tid=23466

    One of the Quotations in that thread:

    A member named Henry posted this reference:
    Good info. 'Henry' over on the AWS forum is very knowledgeable and I'm inclined to take what he says as truth. So seems like there's lots going on in the pure helium arc that's different than the pure argon arc. The question that occurs to me is, when using mixtures of helium and argon, what mechanism dominates? Argon's lower ionization potential or the higher thermal conductivity of helium? The few times I've used a helium/argon blend, I can't swear that the observed arc voltage was higher. I vaguely recall glancing at the meters on the power supply and noting that things seemed 'normal'. But I didn't have a data logger hooked up to record the arc voltage; so who really knows what was going on?

    Could a blend be even better than either gas alone? Seems to me that this is possible. But we still don't know how to find that optimal gas mix ratio....
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    Quote Originally Posted by Chad86tsi View Post
    When welding, you are using several types of energy transfer. The weld current causes molecular electron friction of the base metal, increasing the thermal state of the molecules; AKA heat. The plasma stream is extremely hot, and by direct conduction it transfers it's energy to the metal it touches.

    Its like simultaneously using a gas range and an induction range to cook the same pot of water, where the induction element heats the base metal by causing a strong current in the pot by way electromagnetic conduction (induction), and the gas element conducts thermal energy directly by way of hot burnt gas.

    Think of helium as being a gas that conducts less electrical current (presents more resistance, and thus the measured voltage potential increases), but conducts plasma thermal energy 10x's better than argon.

    The voltage increases because it requires more voltage to produce the target current. We utilize current to do our work, and the voltage is what gets altered to achieve that current. Increase the voltage to overcome the greater electrical resistance of the Helium and you restore target current, the basemetal gets just as hot as it does with lower voltage Argon.
    I like your choice of wording. I can tell you've either had formal training in the sciences, or your a very good self-learner with high mathematical aptitude.

    Quote Originally Posted by A_DAB_will_do View Post
    Dave,

    I don't have all the facts, but what research I've done suggests that the difference between using Helium or Helium/Argon mixes, and straight Argon, is tied to the ability of Helium to conduct heat much more effectively than Argon does. The amount of heat energy in the arc is more or less the same, but that heat is conducted to the work piece much more effectively by Helium. Why this is true is a mystery to me at this point.
    Here is some good info. I hope you aced Partial Differential Equations and Thermodynamics

    Thermodynamic Properties of Ionized Gases at High Temperatures

    Effect of Helium-Argon Mixtures on the Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow in Gas Tungsten Arc Welding


    Here is some empirical evidence, even if it's for GMAW:

    Effects of Shielding Gas on Gas Metal Arc Welding Aluminum
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    In post #54 I guessed that the higher voltage of the Helium arc should translate to more wattage (if amps are constant). The article quotes that I posted appear to support that?

    However, there also seem to be other factors....still pondering...
    There's a typo in my post. I meant to say voltage not amperage. Equal amperage, higher voltage means more watts, which is to say more heat. Other qualities of the arc may serve to focus the arc. Or the gas itself may also be more conductive.

    Another random thought: If a vacuum tends to prevent the dissipation of heat, (IE thermos bottle) might a very light gas have a less intense, but similar effect, placing more of the generated heat in the weld, not dispersing it to the atmosphere.

    Lets not stop thinking there, if helium can serve as an insulation, reducing global warming, reducing energy consumption, and thereby reducing greenhouse gasses, shouldn't Efficiency VT provide me with free helium? I'm in VT where they haven't taken it very seriously to legalize the purchase of marijuana because most Vermonters get it free from the state. Vermont government, especially Legislature is so over the top liberal, we reward marijuana users. A few states still punish them. We put them on salary, as testers. My neighbor, I grew up with has quit marijuana. The state wants him to switch to Hashish. Like it or not, they pay the salary, if they want you on the hard stuff, you're on the hard stuff.

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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    When using HE-50 my Thermal Arc digital meter displays true amps. I can start a puddle on 1/8 6061 almost instantly with 100 amps and I better pull back on the pedal fast or it will blow through, I really don't like HE-50 on anything thinner than 1/4 inch, I don't think it leaves as nice of a weld bead, but the problem is you have to move so fast, I usually run 1/8 rod and even then it concentrates the arc so much it will crater out or arc wander. It has its place when pushing small welders to do more than they should. I can usually weld 1/4 inch aluminum at 175 amps with no problem.
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    Gas density and thermal conductivity are not related, though they seem correlated in many substances. Think about Aluminum and Gold, both very good thermal conductors with very different densities, Then there is Iron with only medium thermal conductivity and a density that lies somewhere in between. All metals, and all pretty decent electrical conductors too. Lithium is another excellent thermal conductor, and it's very very low density, and also a metal. Lots of physical properties that seem to defy expectation. HE thermal conductivity is 10 times that of Argon, Argon would be a better thermal insulating gas, and is why it is found in between the panes of high end double pane windows.

    Lots of variables to balance out.

    There are also some variables we control, arc length comes to mind. Longer length leads to higher voltage potential for a given current demand, but we all know this doesn't mean more heat in the weld pool. The plasma "bubble" in the case of TIG collapses and becomes random and unfocused. Similar to contaminating the tip and the resultant bubble deformity that robs weld efficiency. Keep that contamination on there and it still heats the base metal and conducts the current, but the focus is very loose and it's hard to control. You end up with a burnt looking weld, because you have to burn it to get the job done. You are disrupting the plasma contact conductivity in this situation. Same energy is present, but it's not going where you want it.
    Last edited by Chad86tsi; 04-04-2017 at 12:37 AM.

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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    Quote Originally Posted by Chad86tsi View Post
    Helium has way more thermal conductivity than other shielding gasses, the second highest of any gas (just below Hydrogen). The thermal energy present In the arc more efficiently transfers to the base metal.

    Thermal conductivity:


    He = .138
    AR = .016
    CO2 = .015

    Good information. Thanks.

    I didnt know about the thermal conductivity but I always knew that once ionized the electrical conduction was zero ohms. It makes sense the thermal conductance would go up as some metals do the same: silver , copper, gold have low resistance (micro ohms) and hi thermal conductivity.

    I tried finding electrical conductivity in the CRC Handbook but no luck. I had a lab class years ago and looked up my notes.

    From my lab book: As current increases, more atoms are ionized because collisions of electrons with atoms; consequently, a negative dynamic resistance is produced.

    At hi current levels, the plasma can reach saturation and more electrical energy does not increase plasma heat.

    Heres a graph showing negative resistance voltage vs current for a Helium Neon mix but applies to all gas discharges in which the conducting element is a plasma.

    Couple interesting things I learned from the CRC: the He nuclei are alpha particles. The fusion of Hydrogen into Helium is how an atom bomb works and the hottest stars are hotter because of He.

    Bottom line is He is a bad*** atom.
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    Helium increases "amperage" because Helium possesses a HIGHER THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY than Ar. He is lighter than Ar. Ionization potential, contrary to what the welding body of knowledge has published for decades, has zero to do with the increased effectiveness of Helium.

    Consider, the maximum amount of heat that any hydrocarbon flame can impart on to a surface is ~ 1,000 W/cm^2. This limitation is due to the boundary layer effects present at the air-to-base metal interface. A plasma arc is essentially an "electrically augmented flame" with a maximum heat intensity of 10,000 W/cm^2. The 9,000 W/cm^2 "delta" occurs from the ELECTRONS + the ions. Turns out, 99% of the 9,000 W/cm^2 is due to the ELECTRONS, not the ions. The ions have a minimal part in this process.

    Electrons, being super fast and extremely small blast through the bound layer. Ions, being slower and larger, are unable to penetrate the boundary layer. Electrons are a Ferrari; ions are a tractor trailer.

    The total heat, Q, delivered to the Anode (base metal) from the Cathode (electrode/wire) during a plasma arc welding process = [Qelectrons] + [Qconvection + Qconduction +Qradiation]. Qelectrons are Boss.

    If you are truly interested in learning about the heat of condensation, the heat of vaporization, the kinetic theory of gases, local thermodynamic equilibrium as it relates to welding, and.........all things welding/joining from one the USA's leading material/welding engineers, recommend you start by accessing the "Fusion Welding - 2001" video series on YT presented by Dr. Tom Eagar (ScD, PE, MIT).

    Our Metallurgy sticky has a few of Tom's videos and this exact question has previously been covered.

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    Last edited by ManoKai; 04-06-2017 at 06:18 PM.
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    [QUOTE=ManoKai;8380191]Helium increases "amperage" because Helium possesses a HIGHER THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY than Ar. He is lighter than Ar. Ionization potential, contrary to what the welding body of knowledge has published for decades, has zero to do with the increased effectiveness of Helium.

    Consider, the maximum amount of heat that any hydrocarbon flame can impart on to a surface is ~ 1,000 W/cm^2. This limitation is due to the boundary layer effects present at the air-to-base metal interface. A plasma arc is essentially an "electrically augmented flame" with a maximum heat intensity of 10,000 W/cm^2. The 9,000 W/cm^2 "delta" occurs from the ELECTRONS + the ions. Turns out, 99% of the 9,000 W/cm^2 is due to the ELECTRONS, not the ions. The ions have a minimal part in this process.

    Electrons, being super fast and extremely small blast through the bound layer. Ions, being slower and larger, are unable to penetrate the boundary layer. Electrons are a Ferrari; ions are a tractor trailer.

    The total heat, Q, delivered to the Anode (base metal) from the Cathode (electrode/wire) during a plasma arc welding process = [Qelectrons] + [Qconvection + Qconduction +Qradiation]. Qelectrons are Boss.

    If you are truly interested in learning about the heat of condensation, the heat of vaporization, the kinetic theory of gases, local thermodynamic equilibrium as it relates to welding, and.........all things welding/joining from one the USA's leading material/welding engineers, recommend you start by accessing the "Fusion Welding - 2001" video series on YT presented by Dr. Tom Eagar (ScD, PE, MIT).

    Our Metallurgy sticky has a few of Tom's videos and this exact question has previously been covered.

    #workhard #hustle #ownit[/QUOTE

    I'm going WAY out on a limb here, ......you are VERY smart. Two facts come to mind: We are very fortunate to have you. You are less fortunate to have us.

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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    [QUOTE=Willie B;8380311]
    Quote Originally Posted by ManoKai View Post
    Helium increases "amperage" because Helium possesses a HIGHER THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY than Ar. He is lighter than Ar. Ionization potential, contrary to what the welding body of knowledge has published for decades, has zero to do with the increased effectiveness of Helium.

    Consider, the maximum amount of heat that any hydrocarbon flame can impart on to a surface is ~ 1,000 W/cm^2. This limitation is due to the boundary layer effects present at the air-to-base metal interface. A plasma arc is essentially an "electrically augmented flame" with a maximum heat intensity of 10,000 W/cm^2. The 9,000 W/cm^2 "delta" occurs from the ELECTRONS + the ions. Turns out, 99% of the 9,000 W/cm^2 is due to the ELECTRONS, not the ions. The ions have a minimal part in this process.

    Electrons, being super fast and extremely small blast through the bound layer. Ions, being slower and larger, are unable to penetrate the boundary layer. Electrons are a Ferrari; ions are a tractor trailer.

    The total heat, Q, delivered to the Anode (base metal) from the Cathode (electrode/wire) during a plasma arc welding process = [Qelectrons] + [Qconvection + Qconduction +Qradiation]. Qelectrons are Boss.

    If you are truly interested in learning about the heat of condensation, the heat of vaporization, the kinetic theory of gases, local thermodynamic equilibrium as it relates to welding, and.........all things welding/joining from one the USA's leading material/welding engineers, recommend you start by accessing the "Fusion Welding - 2001" video series on YT presented by Dr. Tom Eagar (ScD, PE, MIT).

    Our Metallurgy sticky has a few of Tom's videos and this exact question has previously been covered.

    #workhard #hustle #ownit[/QUOTE

    I'm going WAY out on a limb here, ......you are VERY smart. Two facts come to mind: We are very fortunate to have you. You are less fortunate to have us.

    Anyway, thanks for being you.

    Willie
    I will take exception to your analogy. If I need a winter's supply of firewood, I sure as Hell don't want it delivered in a Ferrari!
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    ManoKai,

    The wise words of a "Master Blaster." BZ brother!

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    Last edited by Gar; 04-07-2017 at 02:00 PM.
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    Quote Originally Posted by Gar View Post
    ManoKai,

    The wise words of a "Master Blaster." BZ brother!

    Gar

    Aloha my brother. RSP, 3 and 1s, buddy tabs, embrace the suck. Hope your harvest was dakine this season. We need to linkup soonest

    //

    The thermal conductivity, k, of a gas is inversely proportional to the SQRT of the molecular weight. kAr = 4; kHe 40. Thus, SQRT (kHe/kAr) ~= 3.

    Helium trumps Argon by a factor of TRINITY (3). Helium's is so set on retaining her fully-complete 1S2 electron configuration and not allowing it to be "ionized" that she defends any metallica interactions a la the Spartans.

    Explore the IE trend in the PTE vis a vis Khan,




    Note, element #s 113-118 are now diagraphically (instead of three letters) called "Nh", "Fl", "Mc", "Lv", "Ts", and "Og", respectively.
    "Discovery is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought" - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

  24. #74
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    Re: Adding Helium And False Amps???

    ^ ReMath: kHe is SQRT (1/4); kAr is SQRT(1/40). Net TRINITY applies. Writing equations without a symbolic manipulation no es bueno.
    "Discovery is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought" - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

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