Three Hydrogen Isotopes: Protium, Deuterium, Tritium

Chemistry, Physics
Elements are the building blocks of a chemist’s world. The first and simplest element is hydrogen, H. It is a gas at room temperature. A molecule of hydrogen gas consists of two joined atoms. However, we will discuss the lone atoms, which exist in three varieties: protium, deuterium, and tritium. All hydrogen atoms have an atomic number of 1. This means the central core or nucleus of any of the three varieties of hydrogen contains just 1 proton. All hydrogen atoms have 1 electron in an orbital outside the nucleus. What makes the three varieties different? The nucleus of hydrogen can include in addition to the proton, zero, one, or two neutrons. Protium Hydrogen without any neutron is protium. Hydrogen with one neutron is deuterium. Hydrogen with two neutrons is…
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