The helium shutoff — a side effect of the Qatar confrontation

( CNN) The recent diplomatic dustup between Qatar and many other Gulf commonwealths generated some nervousness for some of the world’s most cutting edge scientists.

Among recalled ambassadors, closed metes and big disturbances on pas and ship, the diplomatic crisis highlighted the world’s vulnerability to cutoffs in the quantity of helium, since Qatar is the world’s second-biggest creator of the vital essence, after the United States. Although the helium characteristic of this diplomatic imbroglio has been resolved, it foreground the mode in which international diplomacy can impact scientific research.

While most people might think of helium as simply being the gas that is used for bags at children’s birthday gatherings, it is actually a critical ingredient for some of higher technologies on Earth.