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the historical background of hydrogen, its chemical formula and elements, as well as its use in compounds that make up the fabric of our very existence.
Hydrogen was first produced artificially by a scientist named T. Von Hohenheim in the 16th century. In combining metals and strong acids he created a flammable gas; however he didn’t realize that what he had created was hydrogen. It wasn’t until 1671 that Robert Boyle combined iron fillings and dilute acids that the element was rediscovered. In 1766 Henry Cavendish became the first to understand that the gas produced by these combinations itself constituted a wholly unique substance. Finally, in 1783 Antoine Lavosier gave the element the moniker of hydrogen upon discovering that water was produced when the then unnamed substance was burned. (Rigden 2003) The name is derived from hudur, which means water and and gennan, meaning generate, thus giving it water generator. It was named this because of Cavendishs experiment where he combined oxygen and hydrogen. Hydrogen has the atomic number 1 and the symbol H. Hydrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas (at room temperature) and highly explosive.
Hydrogen is the least dense gas known to man. Its melting point is 14o K and the boiling point is 20.28o K. The atomic mass of hydrogen is 1.00794 amu. Because it has only one electron it will react very quickly and, in many cases, violently. To view this, combine hydrogen with fluorine. Hydrogen has three isotopes. The first is H-1, Protium, which is stable. Protium makes up 98% of naturally occurring hydrogen. The second is H-2, Deuterium, which is also stable. Deuterium makes up 1.99% of naturally occurring hydrogen. The third is H-3, Tritium, which is radioactive. Tritium has a half-life of 12.3 years. Tritium makes up about 0.001% of naturally occurring hydrogen.
Hydrogen has numerous uses, the most common of those are balloons, metal refining, and production of electricity. Some of those uses are dangerous.
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