Heavy hydrogen or deuterium, symbol D, belongs to the hydrogen isotope family. Hydrogen is composed of two stable isotopes, protium and deuterium. There is a third unstable isotope of hydrogen known as Tritium. There are two nucleons including one proton and one neutron in the nucleus of deuterium, while the nucleus of protium does not contain any neutrons. The oceans contain one deuterium atom for every 6420 hydrogen atoms.
The heavy water isotope of hydrogen is present in a very small quantity in the ocean, and these are not easily extractable. Deuterium is present in the oceans in an amount of approximately 156.25 parts per million. Deuteron, with an atomic weight of 2.014, is the principal constituent of heavy water. In natural hydrogen compounds, deuterium is found to an extent of about 0.0156%. Since deuterium is not radioactive, it does not pose a threat. In Greek, deuterons mean "second" and the name deuterium comes from it. The nucleus of a deuterium atom is made up of two particles, a neutron, and a proton. A deuteron is a term used to describe the nucleus of deuterium. Deuterium was discovered in 1931 by Harold Urey.
In the atomic structure of deuterium, there are both protons and neutrons which make it a stable particle. It is also known as Hydrogen-2 and is denoted by D or 2H. Atomic mass units (amu) or electron volts (eV) are used to assess the mass of the deuteron. The deuteron has a charge of +1e. Protons give the deuteron this charge.
The AMU is equal to the average neutron and proton rest masses. In terms of SI units of mass, this is approximately 1.67377 x 10⁻²⁷ kilogram (kg) or 1.67377 x 10⁻²⁴ gram (g). In amu, atomic particles have a mass approximately equal to the number of protons and neutrons in their nuclei.
In this way, the mass of Deuterium is 2 amu.
MeV stands for mega-electron volt, and meV stands for million electron volts.
Mega electron-volts are 1 million times as powerful as electron-volts. An electron gets one eV (electron volt) of energy when it passes through a potential difference of 1 volt when it has a charge equal to that of an electron. In SI units, 1eV equals 1.6*10⁻¹⁹ Joules.
The atomic mass unit (amu) is equivalent to one-twelfth of the mass of an atom of carbon-12. There are 6 protons along with 6 neutrons in the nucleus of the carbon-12 atom. A mass unit for a proton or neutron at rest is an amu.
When converting the binding energy into mega electron volts (MeV) per nucleon, we need to use the conversion factor that is given below.
1 MeV = 1.602 x 10⁻¹³ J
The value is calculated by using the energy-mass relationship given by Einstein:
One amu is equivalent to an energy of 931.5 MeV.
Deuterium has the following uses: