Hydrogen

How it affects the universe and its uses

What is Hydrogen?

Hydrogen was discovered in 1671 by Robert Boyle and was recognised as an element in 1766 by Henry Cavendish. Hydrogen derives from the Greek word "Water forming" and forms up to 90 percent of the atoms in the universe, that adds up to 75 percent of the mass of the universe! Hydrogen is found in almost every molecule and is found in stars. Hydrogen is found naturally as a gas and is rarely found on earth because of how it is 14 times lighter than oxygen making it float out of earths gravitational pull.

What are its uses?

Hydrogen is used to make ammonia for fertiliser in a process called the Haber Process where nitrogen reacts with hydrogen. Hydrogen is also used as rocket fuel, making hydrochloric acid and making glass. Scientists are also very interested in the fact that when burnt as a fuel does not release any gases that are harmful to the environment. However, there are a few problems with using hydrogen as fuel, one is that to produce hydrogen it uses up natural gas and hydrogen is also extremely flammable so it is dangerous to use it in vehicles. Hydrogen is also used in bombs like a hydrogen bomb.

Hydrogen Atom

Hydrogen atoms are created with 1 proton (a positive subatomic particle) and one electron (a negative subatomic particle.) In everyday life it is very rare to find an isolated hydrogen atom but hydrogen atoms are usually bound together with another type of atom (such as H20.)