Hydrogen is a gas, the lightest element and the first element on the periodic table. It is represented as a H on the periodic table. Hydrogen was around long before it was discovered as a distinct element in 1776 by a British chemist named Henry Cavendish. Robert Boyle discovered hydrogen from the reaction of iron filings and dilute acids in 1671 but Cavendish was the first to identify it as a discrete element. However it was not named until 1783 by French noblemen and chemist Antoine Lavoisier. Lavoisier got the idea for the name Hydrogen from two different Greek words, hydro and genes which means water forming.
A model of a hydrogen atom
- Atomic number- 1
- Atomic mass- approximately 1 (1.00794 amu)
- It has one proton, one electron and no neutrons
- Hydrogen has three isotopes. They are protium (1.0078 amu), deuterium (2.0141 amu) and tritium (3.0160 amu). Tritium is the most stable of those isotopes with a half-life of 12.32 years.
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and it is generated in many different ways. It is mostly produced from natural gas, coal, biomass and oil. Hydrogen can also be produced from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric power.
Hydrogen does not have many everyday uses but it is used in the industrial sense. Hydrogen can be added to fats and oils in a process called hydrogenation. It is also used in the study of superconductors and when mixed with liquid oxygen, it makes excellent rocket fuel.
About 10 percent of the weight of living organisms is hydrogen – mainly in water, proteins and fats.
Hydrogen is believed to be one of three elements produced in the Big Bang; the others are helium and lithium.
Structure of my element