By: Brian Thompson

Characteristics of Hydrogen

Symbol: H

Atomic number: 1

Atomic weight: 1.008

Group: 1

Period: 1

Color: colorless

Classification: non-metal

The History of Hydrogen

Hydrogen was unofficially discovered in 1671 by Robert Boyle, when he published his book on "New Experiments touching the relation betwixt flame and air". Was declared an element in 1766 by Henry Cavendish, who was collecting it over mercury and called it "inflammable air from metals." Another form of hydrogen was found in 1931, in the form of Deuterium Gas, and was found by Harold Urey, who was a professor of chemistry at Chicago and California.

Uses and Interesting Facts about Hydrogen

In 1839, British scientist Sir William Robert Grove did experiments on electrolysis. He thought that if he could separate a water cell into its base components, then he could do It in reverse. The experiments that were conducted eventually lead to what he called a Gas Battery, but later had its name changed to fuel cell by two more scientists; Ludwig Mond and Charles Langer. During 1932 Dr. Francis Thomas Bacon, who was an engineer at Cambridge university in the UK, decided to experiment further with this "fuel cell". With this continued experimentation, Bacon created the Alkaline fuel cell, capable of producing 5kW of power, which is enough to power a welding machine! These fuel cells were used later by NASA during the Apollo missions, and have been used in some way for over 100 missions by NASA. Not only does NASA use these cells, but they can also be found in submarines.