deuterium(redirected from deuteriums)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
deuterium(dew-teer -ee-ŭm) See hydrogen.
(heavy hydrogen; represented by D or2H), a stable hydrogen isotope having mass number 2. Deuteron is the nucleus of the deuterium atom. The large difference between the masses of D and ‘H leads to significant differences in their properties (for example, the boiling point of normal hydrogen is 20.39°K, whereas the boiling point of deuterium is 23.57°K; the rates of some chemical reactions differ by a factor of 5–10 for substances containing D and 1H).
In industry deuterium is isolated by using isotopic exchange between water and hydrogen sulfide (deuterium is distributed unevenly between these compounds, concentrating in H2O), by the distillation of liquid hydrogen, and by the multistep electrolysis of water. Deuterium is used as a component of the hydrogen bomb, and in the future it may become a thermonuclear fuel in energetics. In scientific research it is used as an isotope tracer. Heavy water D2O serves as a neutron moderator in atomic reactors. Deuterium was discovered spectrally in 1932 by the American scientist H. Urey and his co-workers.
REFERENCESBrodskii, A. I. Khimiia izotopov, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1957.
Kirschenbaum, I. Tiazhelaia voda. Moscow, 1953. (Translated from English.)