All elements have atoms as their basic unit, and an atom contains three fundamental particles, which are negatively charged electrons, positively charged protons, and neutrons of neutral particles. The number of protons and neutrons present in the nucleus is called the mass number of elements, and the number of protons is called the atomic number. The same elements whose atoms contain the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons are called isotopes. An example is hydrogen, which has three isotopes. This is hydrogen with zero neutrons, deuterium containing one neutron, and tritium - it contains two neutrons. This article will focus on an isotope of hydrogen called deuterium, also known as heavy hydrogen.
What is deuterium?
Deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen that differs from hydrogen by one neutron. Typically, hydrogen has only one proton, while deuterium has one proton and one neutron. It is widely used in reactionsdivision.
Deuterium (chemical symbol D or ²H) is a stable isotope of hydrogen found in nature in extremely small amounts. The deuterium nucleus, called the deuteron, contains one proton and one neutron, while the much more common hydrogen nucleus contains only one proton and no neutrons. Therefore, each atom of deuterium has a mass that is about twice that of an ordinary hydrogen atom, and deuterium is also called heavy hydrogen. Water in which ordinary hydrogen atoms are replaced by deuterium atoms is called heavy water.
Isotopic mass of deuterium - 2, 014102 units. Deuterium has a stable half-life because it is a stable isotope.
The excess energy of deuterium is 13,135.720 ± 0.001 keV. The binding energy for the deuterium nucleus is 2224.52 ± 0.20 keV. Deuterium combines with oxygen to form D2O (2H2O), also known as heavy water. Deuterium is not a radioactive isotope.
Deuterium is not dangerous to he alth, but can be used to create nuclear weapons. Deuterium is not produced artificially, as it is naturally abundant in ocean water and can serve many generations of people. It is extracted from the ocean using a centrifugation process.
Heavy hydrogen is the name of any of the higher isotopes of hydrogen, such as deuterium and tritium. But more often it is used for deuterium. Its atomic mass isabout 2, and its nucleus contains 1 proton and 1 neutron. Thus, its mass is twice that of normal hydrogen. The extra neutron in deuterium makes it heavier than normal hydrogen, which is why it is called heavy hydrogen.
Heavy hydrogen was discovered by Harold Urey in 1931 - this discovery was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1934. Urey predicted the difference between the vapor pressure of molecular hydrogen (H2) and the corresponding molecule with one hydrogen atom replaced by deuterium (HD), and thus the possibility of separating these substances by distillation of liquid hydrogen. Deuterium was found in the residue from the distillation of liquid hydrogen. It was prepared in its pure form by G.N. Lewis using the electrolytic concentration method. When water is electrified, hydrogen gas is formed, which contains a small amount of deuterium, so the deuterium is concentrated in the water. When the amount of water is reduced to about one hundred thousandths of its original volume by continued electrolysis, nearly pure deuterium oxide, known as heavy water, is provided. This heavy water preparation method was used during World War II.
Etymology and chemical symbol
The name "deuterium" comes from the Greek word deuteros, which means "second". This indicates that with an atomic nucleus consisting of two particles, deuterium is the second isotope after ordinary (or light) hydrogen.
Deuterium is often denoted by the chemicalsymbol D. As an isotope of hydrogen with a mass number of 2, it is also represented as H. The formula for deuterium is 2H. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) allows both D and H, although H is preferred.
How to get deuterium from water?
The traditional method of concentrating deuterium in water uses isotope exchange in hydrogen sulfide gas, although better methods are being developed. Separation of different isotopes of hydrogen can also be done using gas chromatography and cryogenic distillation, which use differences in physical properties to separate isotopes.
Deuterium water, also known as heavy water, is similar to ordinary water. It is formed by a combination of deuterium and oxygen and is designated as 2H2O. Deuterium water is more viscous than regular water. Heavy water is 10.6% denser than ordinary water, so the ice of heavy water sinks in ordinary water. For some animals, deuterium water is toxic, while others can survive in heavy water, but will develop more slowly in it than in normal water. Deuterium water is not radioactive. The human body contains about 5 grams of deuterium, and it is harmless. If heavy water enters the body in large quantities (for example, about 50% of the water in the body becomes heavy), it can lead to cell dysfunction, and ultimately death.
Differences in heavy water:
- The freezing point is 3.82°C.
- Temperatureboiling point is 101.4 °C.
- The density of heavy water is 1.1056 g/mL (normal water is 0.9982 g/mL).
- The pH of heavy water is 7.43 (normal water is 6.9996).
- There is a slight difference in taste and smell between plain water and heavy water.
Use of deuterium
Scientists have developed many uses for deuterium and its compounds. For example, deuterium is a non-radioactive isotope tracer for studying chemical reactions and metabolic pathways. In addition, it is useful for studying macromolecules using neutron scattering. Deuterated solvents (like heavy water) are commonly used in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy because these solvents do not affect the NMR spectra of the compounds under study. Deuterated compounds are also useful for femtosecond infrared spectroscopy. Deuterium is also a fuel for nuclear fusion reactions, which could someday be used to generate electricity on an industrial scale.