What is Tritium: Definition and 40 Discussions

Tritium ( or , from Ancient Greek τρίτος (trítos) 'third') or hydrogen-3 (symbol T or 3H) is a rare and radioactive isotope of hydrogen. The nucleus of tritium (sometimes called a triton) contains one proton and two neutrons, whereas the nucleus of the common isotope hydrogen-1 (protium) contains just one proton, and that of hydrogen-2 (deuterium) contains one proton and one neutron.
Naturally occurring tritium is extremely rare on Earth. The atmosphere has only trace amounts, formed by the interaction of its gases with cosmic rays. It can be artificially produced by irradiating lithium metal or lithium-bearing ceramic pebbles in a nuclear reactor, and is a low-abundance byproduct in normal operations of nuclear reactors.
Tritium is used as the energy source in radioluminescent lights for watches, numerous instruments and tools, and even novelty items such as self-illuminating key chains. It is used in a medical and scientific setting as a radioactive tracer. Tritium is also used as a nuclear fusion fuel, along with more abundant deuterium, in tokamak reactors and in hydrogen bombs.

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  1. J

    B What Are the Key Safety Concerns When Building a Fusor for Nuclear Fusion?

    Hi PF, I am new here. I'm trying to perform a risk assessment to enumerate, and then take steps to mitigate, the risks posed by building a fusor and performing nuclear fusion. The risks as I see it are: 1. Electrical hazards posed by the high voltage equipment 2. Potential fuel-air explosion...
  2. uxioq99

    Instantaneous Decay of Tritium into Helium

    I have been self-studying the MIT 8.04 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics course. This question is not graded, so I have no reservation asking about it on the internet. Imagine an electron bound by tritium (Z=1). One of the two neutrons undergoes beta decay and becomes a proton, causing the...
  3. A

    Fusion tritium problem solution?

    There are many articles like this one https://www.science.org/content/article/fusion-power-may-run-fuel-even-gets-started Where scientists talk about the problem of obtaining tritium even if the fusion engineering itself finally crosses the "net gain" margin for electricity production. Here is...
  4. R

    The binding energy per nucleon of tritium

    Hi, I know from conservation of energy that ##E_i = E_f## Thus, ## M_h c^2 + binding energy = M_{he}c^2+ M_e c^2 + K = M_{he}c^2 + 0.5 MeV + 0.0186 MeV## If I'm right I have to find ##M_{he}c^2##, but something is missing in my understanding, since I don't see how to find that mass energy...
  5. J

    Do most exit signs have tritium?

    I have a quick question but do you know if all exit signs have tritium? Took my kids to Disneyland today and on one of the indoor rides, the exit sign was not lit, the other ones were lit red but the one next to us was not lit, wondering if it was tritium and maybe broken and the tritium came...
  6. skywalker

    I More info on HT/HD shielding constants?

    I was wondering how they measured or calculated these differences? I don't know what they refer to, but assume theyre scattering Hydrogen with Tritium or Deuterium to measure the difference of something. https://physics.nist.gov/cgi-bin/cuu/Results?search_for=shielding+difference
  7. Stephen Bulking

    I The Tritium Puzzle: Unravelling Mass-Energy Equivalence

    I was finding the energy required to separate tritium into it's component parts, the binding energy when it hit me that how could 1amu= 931.2 MeV and 1.66e-27 kg at the same time?
  8. J

    I Tritium Phosphorescence: Understanding Electron Capture and Phosphor Changes

    In a tritium phosphor light, such as a tritium gun site, the tritium activates the phosphor with an ejected electron. What happens to that electron after being captured by the phosphor material. How is the phosphor changed.
  9. SebastianRM

    What is the energy released by Tritium when it decays?

    Summary: The problem states Tritium decay into Helium, an electron and an electron neutrino. Questions of the problem: a) To write an expression for the single particle transformation that occurs at the nucleus. to which i wrote: n -> p + e + v b) Is to calculate the energy released by the...
  10. A

    Tritium concentration at Fukushima Water Treatment Facility

    Hello there, maybe I am wrong but I found something inconsistent between the espected tritium concentration in Newly RO Treated Water (6.7 10^4 bq/l --> graph at pag. 16 here) and last measurement published by Tepco on 22th of August at the Water Treatment Facility (1*10^3 bq/cm3) Converting...
  11. CDL

    I Probabilities Associated with Sudden Changes in Potential

    Hi, I have a question about calculating probabilities in situations where a particle experiences a sudden change in potential, in the case where both potentials are time independent. For example, a tritium atom undergoing spontaneous beta decay, and turning into a Helium-3 ion. The orbital...
  12. N

    Can't we synthetically create helium-3 from decaying tritium

    If I am write can't we syntactically creat helium-3 from decayacing tritium if it is true we don't have to mine the moon for helium-3 because mining the moon is very costly and complicated so if we can sycnteticlly creat helium-3 we can save a lot of money
  13. A

    I Calculation Of the energy Of beta decay in tritium

    Hi! I hace been trying to calculate how many energy in form of beta radiation is emitted in one if those "Tritiglows" sold in Amazon. I did the following math (imatge) and got a really high energy. How is that posible? Where did I failed...
  14. N

    B Tritium, beta decay, spatial parity

    I bought one of those small tritium veils with phosphorus. Read about beta decay, wow what an interesting read! So there was mention when a neutron decays into a proton it emits an electron and an electron anti-neutrino. Also that there is no spatial parity with the physics. What does no...
  15. J

    B Risk of tritium (sight) from 1970-1990.

    Good morning everyone, First of all I have to say that I didn't know where to ask this question, but I am sure people with knowledge in nuclear physhics is who I will trust, and not optics amateurs, at least with something potentially dangerous. I got an optics device that has an orange stick...
  16. Jasiu

    I Fusion reaction deuteron + tritium

    Hello. Where is come from the heat (about 17,59MeV) from reaction deuteron + tritium -> Alfa + netron + Q although sum of substrates's mass is greater than sum of products's mass?
  17. O

    Tritium Problem: Why Is It a Challenge for Nuclear Energy?

    Why tritium is a problematic isotope in current nuclear energy production. Is it because of its mobility or being a beta emitter? Thank you.
  18. Sebastiaan

    A What is the Maximum Achievable Tritium Breeding Rate for a Fusion Engine?

    Let say we need to maximize the amount of breeded Tritium next to a fusion engine, but we got only access of 4% of the emitted neutrons at 14 MeV. What would be the maximum achievable tritium breeding rate, using Lithium7, Lithium 6, and any neutron Neutron multipliers like lead and beryllium.
  19. N

    I Methods to Prove Existence of Tritium in Fusor Exhaust

    I'm looking into a science fair project involving proving the existence of tritium in the exhaust of a Farnsworth fusor, and was wondering what the ideal method to prove it is. I've thought of three so far. The first is ionizing the gas and analyzing the spectra. The second is placing an alpha...
  20. sevenperforce

    High-temperature tritium scrubbing

    If you could design a fusion-based nuclear reactor with the potential to completely revolutionize energy access around the world, but the reactor could only function by releasing environmentally significant amounts of superheated tritium directly into the atmosphere, would there be any way to...
  21. N

    Deuterium and Tritium Density

    Hey, I've been searching around online, and I can't find anything on the individual densities of D2 an T3, only the mean density of all hydrogen isotopes. Thanks, NWFusor
  22. N

    Hydrogen, Deuterium, and Tritium Ionization Spectra

    Hello Everybody, I'm looking into spectral analysis, and I couldn't find anything online about the spectra of different isotopes in discharge tubes (i.e. neon signs and the like ). Do different hydrogen isotopes have different spectra? If so, where could I find the data on the spectra? Thanks...
  23. G

    Optoelectric nuclear batteries with tritium?

    According with this article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optoelectric_nuclear_battery Can it be possible to make a similar battery but filled with tritium and coating or painting the photovoltaic surface with luminiscent substance as is done with tritium keychains...
  24. S

    Reaction of tritium and deuterium

    Homework Statement ##_{1}^{2}\textrm{D}+_{1}^{3}\textrm{T}\rightarrow _{4}^{2}\textrm{He}+n## How much energy releases? Homework Equations Semi empirical mass formula that we use: ##W=-w_0A+w_1A^{2/3}+w_2\frac{Z(Z-1)}{A^{1/3}}+w_3\frac{(a-2Z)^2}{A}+w_4\frac{\delta...
  25. P

    Neutron capture cross section of tritium is zero

    I wish to verify a couple of assertions. From the NNDC and other references, it appears that the neutron capture cross section of 3H (Tritium) is zero to a first approximation. This holds true for all neutron energies, including cold neutrons. These statements are equivalent to asserting that 4H...
  26. B

    Measuring the mass of tritium

    Homework Statement An isotope of hydrogen passes, without deflection, through a velocity selector that has an electric field of 2.40 × 10^5 N/C and a magnetic field of 0.400 T. It then enters a mass spectrometer that has an applied magnetic field of 0.494 T and consequently describes a...
  27. R

    Atomic Mass of Tritium Deuterium - Caveman Logic

    someone told me that tritium deuterium has 47 times less mass than U-235 but, tritium's atomic mass is 3 and deuterium's is 2. myself being a caveman decided to add those together to get the atomic mass of tritium deuterium. any insight this would be appreciated
  28. B

    Deuterium bombarded with Neutrons from tritium?

    If we bombard a gas or plasma of Deuterium with Neutrons will they "stick" and from Tritium?
  29. Q

    Tritium Self-Heating: Betas, Neutrinos & Decay Energy

    Hi All Say I have a small ball of frozen tritium, about 2mm in radius. Does it heat up from its own decay since tritium decay releases ~325 W/kg? Or does its low-energy betas escape? How quickly (i.e. how far do they travel before being 'absorbed') do they thermalise? Is most of the decay...
  30. B

    Tritium neutron collision interaction

    Hi all I have been searching the internet but not with much luck. What can be expected to happen when a tritium is bombarded with a neutron of suitable energy? Will a neutron be knocked off or not? Regards bmeagle
  31. Ivan Seeking

    News Tritium leak at Oyster Creek nuclear plant

    http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2010/05/exelon_forced_to_clean_up_trit.html Not a good week for oil or nuclear power. This looks like it could be pretty serious.
  32. G

    Tritium: Exploring Its Benefits and Risks

    Is this real tritium in there? Is tritium expensive? Is it radioactive? How does it compare to natural sources of radioactivity? http://www.time4tritium.com/benefits.cfm
  33. O

    Understanding Fusion Power: Deuterium & Tritium in Magnetic Confinement

    I have been researching about fusion power to understand how it operates during thermonuclear reactions. I do not understand how and how much deuterium and tritium are placed into the magnetic confinement (tokomak). I appreciate it, if anyone guides me about this. Thank you
  34. W

    Hydrogen, Deuteruim, Tritium

    Can someone please inform me of the chemical, atomic and physical properties of Hydrogen Deuterium and trituim in both the atomic form and in the compund for of H20, D20 an T20. Thx
  35. C

    Half-Life of Tritium: 11.7 mg After 24.6 Yrs

    Question: The half-life of tritium (hydrogen-3) is 12.3 yr. If 46.9 mg of tritium is released from a nuclear power plant during the course of an accident, what mass of this nuclide will remain after 24.6 yr? (Significant figures are important) My answer: 11.7 mg. I came to this answer by...
  36. M

    Can Hydrogen be Converted to Tritium?

    Ok say you take some water and use electrolysis. So you have H2. Is it possible to some how go from 3H2 -> 2H3 ? essentially force it to go from stable to unstable-low level radioactive.
  37. A

    Abundance of deuterium vs tritium

    In a nuclear fusion reactor for generating electricity, would a deuterium-deuterium reaction be inferior to a deuterium-tritium reaction? If the latter is a superior mode of fusion, then obviously that would be more preferable. But how abundant is tritium as an isotope, compared to deuterium, in...
  38. D

    Solving Tritium Oxide in Ocean Water

    "Hot" Water I have this problem in class that I could not solve. Could some one please help me? I have 100mL of water made with tritium (radioactive isotope of hydrogen). If I were to pour this 100mL of hot water into the ocean (given the volume of the ocean is 1.3*(10^18)m^3) how many...
  39. T

    Where can you use protium, tritium and deuterium?

    um um um... Where can you use protium, tritium and deuterium?