Almost all of us have read about Hydrogen in our school’s elementary science classes. This article on Hydrogen facts will be more like a refresher course. This colorless, odorless and non-toxic gas forms the majority of our universe’s mass. What else? Let us find out.
Hydrogen Facts: 1-5
1. The name Hydrogen comes from two Greek words – hydro and genes. Hydro in Greek means ‘water’ while genes in Greek means ‘forming’. This means that Hydrogen is a water forming element.
2. Though it is said that it was Henry Cavendish who discovered Hydrogen in 1766, it was actually discovered nearly a hundred years ago by another scientist named Robert Boyle.
3. Hydrogen is the first element in the Periodic Table. The number of protons in one atom of Hydrogen is 1. This means that the atomic number of Hydrogen is 1.
4. This element is represented by the letter H in the Periodic Table.
5. Hydrogen has a very low density of 0.00008988 grams every cubic centimeter and its atomic weight is 1.00794.
Hydrogen Facts: 6-10
6. At room temperature, the state in which this element is present is Gas. This state is also known as phase.
7. Hydrogen can change phase or state. From gas, it can become liquid. However, for that to happen, the temperature needs to drop to minus 259.34°C or to minus 434.7°F.
8. Liquid hydrogen is so cold that coming in contact with this element in its liquid form will give frost bite. So better stay away!
9. A liquid can boil right? So, liquid hydrogen can also boil. In order for hydrogen to boil, the temperature needs to be minus 252.87°C or minus 423.2°F.
10. We learned about isotopes in our article on oxygen facts. Similarly, hydrogen also has isotopes. Commonly we find 3 isotopes out of which two are very stable.
Hydrogen Facts: 11-15
11. The most common isotope hydrogen is H1 It has 99.9885% of natural abundance.
12. Though hydrogen was first discovered by Robert Boyle and then by Henry Cavendish, it was actually named by Antoine Lavoisier – a French chemist.
13. The three isotopes of hydrogen are – protium, deuterium and tritium. Protium is just the ordinary hydrogen. It is very stable.
14. Deuterium is another isotope and is also very stable. This isotope was discovered by Harold C. Urey in 1932.
15. The third isotope, i.e. tritium is actually unstable and was discovered in year 1934.
Hydrogen Facts: 16-20
16. The difference between these three isotopes is that protium has no neutron, deuterium has 1 neutron and tritium has 2 neutrons.
17. Since the general or normal hydrogen (i.e. protium) has no neutron, it cannot be placed in any group of elements in Periodic Table.
18. The Royal Society says that the commonest way of producing hydrogen is to use steam to heat natural gas. This will give a mixture called syngas. Syngas is nothing but a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. This mixture is then separated to get hydrogen. There are many other methods that can be used for producing hydrogen.
19. The main component of the gaseous planets in our solar system including the giant Jupiter is hydrogen.
20. Of the total elemental mass found in this universe, 75% is taken by hydrogen alone.