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    1    

1 H Hydrogen

Nonmetal, mass: 1.008 u, 2 stable isotopes (1, 2), abundance rank (earth/space): 9/1

Click image to magnify. Vial of glowing ultrapure hydrogen, H2. Original size in cm: 1 x 5. How to make gases glow.
Hydrogen Also hydrogen
Hydrogen is the lightest and simplest element and, with a ratio of 80%, is the main ingredient of the visible universe. 20% consist of helium, the ratio of the heavier elements is below 1%. Most stars, including our Sun, generate energy by fusioning hydrogen to helium. Hydrogen is quite abundant on Earth too, opposite to helium, because it is a very reactive element and so is part of many different compounds. The most familiar of these is the one with oxygen, H2O, water. But all the complex molecules of life contain hydrogen, too. There are three hydrogen isotopes, which as only isotopes of all elements have established proper names:
1H or H, protium, normal hydrogen, abundance 99.985%
2H or D, deuterium, heavy hydrogen, abundance 0.015%
3H or T, tritium, super-heavy hydrogen, occurs only in traces
The latter is radioactive with a half-life of 12.3 years. There is hope, that in the future a lot of energy will be produced by fusioning deuterium and tritium. But this is enormously difficult, because such a fusion needs a temperature of several million degrees to run.

Hydrogen glowing vial Great Orion Nebula
Right: The Great Orion Nebula, 80% hydrogen. Photo: Observatory Kempten.


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The images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, unless otherwise noted. Attribution by linking (outside of the internet credit with url) to the according element page.



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