In chemistry, an isotope is the different form of the same element, which has the same atomic number but the different mass numbers. Naturally occurring hydrogen and its compounds are composed of 3 isotopes. The most abundant of the 3 isotopes is protium, commonly referred to as hydrogen. Protium(H-1) and Deuterium(H-2) account for approximately 99.98%, and the remaining 0.02% is tritium(H-3). The table below summarizes the three isotopes of hydrogen.
Name of isotope
Physical properties of the three isotopes of hydrogen:
Melting point in K
Boiling point in K
Heat of fusion
Heat of vaporization
Generally, all three isotopes of hydrogen have identical chemical properties. However, there is still a slight quantitative variation exist within. For instance, the rate of reaction between chlorine and hydrogen is approximately 13 times faster than the rate of reaction between hydrogen and bromine under similar conditions. The isotopic difference, therefore, refers to the difference in the chemical properties as a result of a change in the mass number of isotopes of hydrogen.
Write the names of isotopes of hydrogen. What is the ratio of these isotopes?
Answer: There are three isotopes of hydrogen; namely, protium, deuterium, and tritium. Their ratios are: protium: deuterium: tritium= 1:2:3