How Many Different Kinds of Water – Water Isotopes – are In Your Glass?

Food, Health
[caption id="attachment_23779" align="alignright" width="480"] Water. Just water. Image by Rollingroscoe.[/caption] The woman of the house comes out of her garden. Having worked for hours, she has a “powerful” thirst that only a glass of water can quench. She opens the freezer door, clinks a few cubes of ice into her glass, and then turns to the sink and fills the voids between the cubes with pure water from the tap. Water consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom – H2O. At first thought, it would seem there should only be one kind of water. This is not accurate, however. That is so because there are isotopes of both hydrogen and oxygen. To understand what an isotope is, it is important to realize that the number of protons in…
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Comparing ⁴He with ²H₂ – An Atom with a Molecule?

Astronomy, Physics
The title of this article may seem a bit strange. How do we begin comparing a helium-4 atom with a molecule of deuterium hydrogen? It may become more apparent if we examine illustrations of the two species. Note the similarities and the differences. If you do, comparing 4He with 2H₂ should not seem so strange. Helium-4 Helium is element number two in the periodic table. This means helium has an atomic number of two—it has two protons. Protons are positively charged. Now an atom is neutral, thus electrical neutrality dictates a helium atom also has two electrons. The only variable is the number of neutrons. Helium-4 (sometimes written 4He) is a very stable form of helium and has two neutrons. Deuterium or Heavy Hydrogen Atomic hydrogen (symbol H) consists primarily…
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Heavy Water –vs.– Regular Water

Chemistry, Physics
[caption id="attachment_14687" align="alignright" width="440"] Heavy Water & Water - Image by Author.[/caption] Hydrogen exists as three varieties or isotopes: protium, deuterium, and tritium. Heavy water, or deuterium oxide (D₂O) is the same compound as ordinary or tap water (H₂O) with one structure difference. Most of the hydrogen atoms in tap water have zero neutrons in their centers, or nuclei. On the other hand, every atom of deuterium contains precisely one neutron. We will not discuss tritium, with its one proton and two neutrons. [caption id="attachment_14693" align="alignright" width="400"] Protium & Deuterium Hydrogen - NASA[/caption] A Closer Inspection of Hydrogen Isotopes The mass of an atom is determined by the nucleus. Since the weight of a proton and that of a neutron are nearly identical, deuterium atoms have a mass essentially double…
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Difference between Fission and Fusion?

[caption id="attachment_13674" align="alignright" width="440"] Deuterium-Tritium Fusion[/caption] In the 1900s, seeming peace was rudely interrupted by two developments in nuclear science. The first was fission. The second was fusion. Both can be used in positive ways. But rarely does mankind focus on good. What’s the difference between fission and fusion? Fission Fission is the dividing or splitting of something. This word well applies to the splitting of the atom. More often than not, that atom is the uranium atom. In particular, it is 235U. The 235 stands for isotope atomic weight. There are other isotopes of uranium, most notably 238U. Atoms are fissionable with a net release of energy if they have an atomic weight higher than approximately that of iron. Fusion Fusion behaves in the opposite manner. Fusion is defined…
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