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Author Topic: How much energy is released from an atom of hydrogen?  (Read 5373 times)

Offline greeniemax

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How much energy is released from a from a single Hydrogen atom in a Thermonuclear blast?

I tried internet and am totally tired of searching because I couldn't find anything, maybe I don't know how to search properly.

Thanks for help guys.
« Last Edit: 29/03/2012 12:09:53 by chris »


 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Re: Energy calculation
« Reply #1 on: 29/03/2012 00:05:40 »
To be pedantic none because in a thermonuclear fusion reaction you need more than one atom to fuse to generate the energy.   Next it depends on which fusion process you use.  It takes in theory four hydrogen atoms to make one helium atom but that is not usually the process because it is not really feasible to do this as a single stage reaction.  Two deuterium nuclei can make a helium atom and deuterium based compounds are often used in fusion process.  The Deuterium Tritium reaction is somewhat easier and this is frequently used in preference or as a catalyst. 

For full details look up nuclear fusion in wikipedia there is plenty of information there
here is a link to it  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fusion
 

Offline greeniemax

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Re: Energy calculation
« Reply #2 on: 29/03/2012 06:50:23 »
Thanks you so much, for some reason I wasn't able to find it.

But its more confusing now... Hydrogen seems like highest energy atom and it doesn't make sense.
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Re: Energy calculation
« Reply #3 on: 29/03/2012 09:09:14 »
You are thinking wrongly.  All stable or metastable structures in our universe form because they are lower energy than whatever they formed from so their formation releases energy.  While it is true that some chemical reactions are endothermic (that is they require an input of energy to create them) what you are really doing is overcoming a barrier to produce a stable structure.

The different nuclei require different quantities of energy to make them.  Helium is particularly stable (and low energy) because the spins of both the protons and neutrons are balanced out. many more complex nuclei are more stable and energy can be released by nuclear fusion processes up to the element Iron after that atoms become more unstable as the size of the nucleus grows towards the limits of the range of the strong interaction and it require an input of energy in a supernova to create them.

So it is not that a proton is a high energy structure it is more that because of the range and level of the strong interaction there are lower energy nuclear structures involving neutrons available. 
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: How much energy is released from an atom of hydrogen?
« Reply #4 on: 30/03/2012 09:12:13 »
If you could convert your Hydrogen atom completely into energy it would yield 1.511*10^-10 joules
 

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Re: How much energy is released from an atom of hydrogen?
« Reply #4 on: 30/03/2012 09:12:13 »

 

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