Hydrogen is a chemical element with symbol H and atomic number 1. With an average atomic weight of 1.00794 u (1.007825 u for hydrogen-1), hydrogen is the lightest element and its monatomic form (H1) is the most abundant chemical substance, constituting roughly 75% of the Universe's baryonic mass. Non-remnant stars are mainly composed of hydrogen in its plasma state.
At standard temperature and pressure, hydrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, nonmetallic, highly combustible diatomic gas with the molecular formula H2. Naturally occurring atomic hydrogen is rare on Earth because hydrogen readily forms covalent compounds with most elements and is present in the water molecule and in most organic compounds. Hydrogen plays a particularly important role in acid-base chemistry with many reactions exchanging protons between soluble molecules.
In ionic compounds, it can take a negative charge (an anion known as a hydride and written as H−), or as a positively charged species H+. The latter cation is written as though composed of a bare proton, but in reality, hydrogen cations in ionic compounds always occur as more complex species.
The most common isotope of hydrogen is protium (name rarely used, symbol 1H) with a single proton and no neutrons. As the simplest atom known, the hydrogen atom has been of theoretical use. For example, as the only neutral atom with an analytic solution to the Schrödinger equation, the study of the energetics and bonding of the hydrogen atom played a key role in the development of quantum mechanics.
Hydrogen gas was first artificially produced in the early 16th century, via the mixing of metals with strong acids. In 1766–81, Henry Cavendish was the first to recognize that hydrogen gas was a discrete substance, and that it produces water when burned, a property which later gave it its name: in Greek, hydrogen means "water-former".
Industrial production is mainly from the steam reforming of natural gas, and less often from more energy-intensive hydrogen production methods like the electrolysis of water. Most hydrogen is employed near its production site, with the two largest uses being fossil fuel processing (e.g., hydrocracking) and ammonia production, mostly for the fertilizer market.
Hydrogen is a concern in metallurgy as it can embrittle many metals, complicating the design of pipelines and storage tanks.
Other articles related to "hydrogen":
... Hydrogen poses a number of hazards to human safety, from potential detonations and fires when mixed with air to being an asphyxiant in its pure, oxygen-free form ... In addition, liquid hydrogen is a cryogen and presents dangers (such as frostbite) associated with very cold liquids ... Hydrogen dissolves in many metals, and, in addition to leaking out, may have adverse effects on them, such as hydrogen embrittlement, leading to cracks and explosions ...
... Hydrogen peroxide has been used for main thrusters and as power source for propellant tank pumps in rockets like the German WWII V-2 (same as US Redstone rocket) ... The hydrogen peroxide is passed through a platinum catalyst mesh, or comes in contact with manganese dioxide impregnated ceramic beads, or Z-Stoff ...
... Although the engine, turbine and liquid hydrogen tank were never physically assembled together, the NERVA was deemed ready to design into a working vehicle by NASA ... The most serious injury during testing was a hydrogen explosion in which two employees sustained foot and ear drum injuries ... At one point in 1965 the liquid hydrogen storage at Test Cell #2 during a Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory Test was accidentally allowed to run dry ...
... Metallic hydrogen is a state of hydrogen which results when it is sufficiently compressed and undergoes a phase transition it is an example of degenerate matter ... Solid metallic hydrogen is predicted to consist of a crystal lattice of hydrogen nuclei (namely, protons), with a spacing which is significantly smaller ... In liquid metallic hydrogen, protons do not have lattice ordering rather, it is a liquid system of protons and electrons ...
... visible spectral line in the Balmer series created by hydrogen with a wavelength of 656.28 nm, which occurs when a hydrogen electron falls from its third to second ... to see H-alpha at night, but due to the abundance of hydrogen in space, H-alpha is often the brightest wavelength of visible light in stellar astronomy ...
Famous quotes containing the words compounds and/or hydrogen:
“We can come up with a working definition of life, which is what we did for the Viking mission to Mars. We said we could think in terms of a large molecule made up of carbon compounds that can replicate, or make copies of itself, and metabolize food and energy. So thats the thought: macrocolecule, metabolism, replication.”
—Cyril Ponnamperuma (b. 1923)
“The pace of science forces the pace of technique. Theoretical physics forces atomic energy on us; the successful production of the fission bomb forces upon us the manufacture of the hydrogen bomb. We do not choose our problems, we do not choose our products; we are pushed, we are forcedby what? By a system which has no purpose and goal transcending it, and which makes man its appendix.”
—Erich Fromm (19001980)