Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Hydrogen - isotope, cation

  1. Feb 4, 2013 #1
    Let's say there a particular hydrogen atom would be a rare-occuring hydrogen atom without a nuetron. And let's say it's a cation that donated it's electron. Would it essentially be just a wandering proton?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Most hydrogen nuclei do not have a neutron - those with one or even two neutrons are rare (~0.01%).
    That is just a single proton, right.
  4. Feb 4, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Yes, a hydrogen atom that has lost its electron is a proton. Can exist in hot excited gases, plasmas, particle beams etc. But the protons we talk of in ordinary chemistry and represent H+ are really never alone, are always attached to something else, e.g. water and so the 'H+' which you will see in texts is a convention for something more realistically represented as H3O+. However, yes they are great wanderers - to transfer of H+ from acids to water and back are the fastest chemical reactions known.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook