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Hydrogen

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

Hydrogen is the simplest 'normal' element so far observed. It has an atomic number of 1, and a standard atomic weight of 1.008. It is most commonly made out of 1 proton and 1 electron, although there are also isotopes of hydrogen with neutrons present.


The isotope of hydrogen with 1 neutron is deuterium. The isotope of hydrogen with 2 neutrons is called tritium. Deuterium is a stable isotope of hydrogen, however tritium is radioactive, decaying into helium-3 through beta decay. Tritium has a half-life of 12.32 years. There is also hydrogen-4, hydrogen-5, hydrogen-6 and hydrogen-7, but all of them are extremely unstable and decay in less than a sextillionth of a second!


The sun uses deuterium and tritium to generate energy, using nuclear fusion, where it uses extreme heat and pressure to fuse isotopes of hydrogen into isotopes of helium, generating energy.


Sources:

  • SCIENCIA (book)

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