Hydrogen - isotope, cation

  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. mfb

    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. epenguin

    epenguin 2,496
    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.
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