Protons and Positive Hydrogen Ions

In summary, a positive hydrogen ion in a solution is not just a proton, as it has a relatively high charge density due to its small ionic radius. While some may argue that a proton and a positive hydrogen ion are the same, in chemistry, hydrogen ions preferentially bond to water molecules and are known as hydroxonium ions. These ions play a crucial role in reactions involving protons.
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Someone once said that a positive hydrogen ion in a solution is not just a proton. When queried he replied by explaining that a positive hydrogen ion in solution will have a relatively high charge density because of the small ionic radius.

I can't see any difference: a proton and a positive hydrogen ion must be one and the same thing. Unless of course the positive hydrogen ion acquires some special quality while being in solution?
 
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  • #2
I have seen descriptions which indicate that H+ is really H3O+. I am not sure whether this explains anything.
 
  • #3
Yes that's right. When H+ is potent, they themselves bond into that. Shows that a proton can bond.
 
  • #4
McHeathen said:
Someone once said that a positive hydrogen ion in a solution is not just a proton. When queried he replied by explaining that a positive hydrogen ion in solution will have a relatively high charge density because of the small ionic radius.

I can't see any difference: a proton and a positive hydrogen ion must be one and the same thing. Unless of course the positive hydrogen ion acquires some special quality while being in solution?

a proton and a hydrogen atom with it's electron displaced an infinite distance away are both the same thing.
 
  • #5
quetz, you're talking in the region of plasma and particle physics.

In chemistry, hydrogen ions don't tend to exist on their own but preferentially bond to water molecules (assuming that's what's producing them). I've heard this called a 'hydroxonium ion' but sounds like mumbo-jumbo to me. This ion delivers the proton to what we consider H+ + (something else) reactions.
 

What are protons?

Protons are subatomic particles found in the nucleus of an atom. They have a positive charge and a mass of approximately 1 atomic mass unit.

How are protons related to positive hydrogen ions?

A positive hydrogen ion is simply a hydrogen atom that has lost its electron, leaving behind a lone proton. Therefore, protons are the building blocks of positive hydrogen ions.

What is the difference between a proton and a positive hydrogen ion?

The main difference between a proton and a positive hydrogen ion is the presence or absence of an electron. Protons are found within the nucleus of an atom, while positive hydrogen ions are formed when a hydrogen atom loses its electron.

How do protons contribute to the overall charge of an atom?

Protons have a positive charge, which balances out the negative charge of the electrons in an atom. The number of protons in the nucleus determines the atomic number and therefore, the overall charge of an atom.

Why are protons important in chemistry and physics?

Protons play a crucial role in determining the chemical and physical properties of an atom. The number of protons in an atom's nucleus determines its identity and chemical behavior. In addition, protons are essential in nuclear reactions and can be used to create energy in nuclear power plants.

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