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Protons and Positive Hydrogen Ions

  1. Feb 20, 2007 #1
    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?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2007 #2


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    I have seen descriptions which indicate that H+ is really H3O+. I am not sure whether this explains anything.
  4. Feb 21, 2007 #3

    Gib Z

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    Yes thats right. When H+ is potent, they themselves bond into that. Shows that a proton can bond.
  5. Feb 21, 2007 #4
    a proton and a hydrogen atom with it's electron displaced an infinite distance away are both the same thing.
  6. Feb 22, 2007 #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.
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