Hydrogen Number 1 H

This is a Photo of a spectrum tube filled with Hydrogen. The tube is powered with 2500v and has the unique spectral line of color. Spectrum tubes are a great way to own the gaseous elements. They can give you the satisfaction of knowing your sample is filled with the real deal!

 Hydrogen is the 1st element on the Periodic Table. Hydrogen is also the lightest element, and is made up of only one proton circled by one electron. A special Isotope of H contains a neutron as well, It is Deuterium, and is found as 1 of every 6000 Hydrogen atoms.

Hydrogen is believed to make up most of our universe, over 90%!  yet Hydrogen is not very abundant on the earth. Hydrogen is the element all other elements are created from! The big bang is said to have released material which formed into Hydrogen, later to Helium and through stars, the heavier elements

It is fusion of Hydrogen in stars that will lead to all other elements. to view fusion in progress, simply look up in the sky at night, or feel the warmth of the sun during the day. Stars are giant fusion reactors fueled by Hydrogen. even our own sun!

One of the most common places to find hydrogen is in water, H2O or 2 Hydrogen atoms and 1 Oxygen atom. Without Hydrogen life would not exist.

Hydrogen has an important role in the study of Quantum Physics, because Hydrogen is the simplest atom it can be used in many  formulas and experiments. Liquid Hydrogen can be used to track particles.

Hydrogen also has destructive power! Hydrogen bombs are fusion bombs ignited by nuclear fission bombs,  they release so much energy that they have the title of most powerful bomb.

Hydrogen is so light it can be used to float blimps, but because it is flammable and can burst into flames it has been replaced with Helium.

The planet Jupiter is a gas giant of Hydrogen. Jupiter has a Hydrogen gas atmosphere, a layer of liquid Hydrogen and a metallic Hydrogen layer, all surrounding a rocky core. Imagine a metallic Hydrogen sample! .

some elements can liberate the hydrogen from water and cause it to ignite. later on I will discuss  the Alkali metals!

Hydrogen gas or H2 is found in diatomic molecules, this means 2 Hydrogen atoms for one Hydrogen molecule. Hydrogen is also the only element to have isotopes with individual names!

Hydrogen has major uses in many industries, food processing, acids, Hydrocarbon compounds, the list is amazingly long.

Hydrogen heads the list as the lightest and first element on the periodic table. I would personally give hydrogen the title, great mother of all elements!

 Helium can be fun even if you run out of balloons, especially when young minds find creative ways to make a balloon!

Hydrogen Isotopes:

Here are photos of  the Hydrogen Isotopes, Deuterium and Tritium.

The bottle contains D2O or "heavy water" which is 11% heavier than H2O because the added neutron adds extra weight. D2O is used as a neutron moderator in nuclear reactors to help keep fission "smooth"

The 2 Tritium tubes are filled with Tritium gas which is a radioactive alpha emitter. the glow is from alpha particles hitting a phosphor. Tritium has a 12.5 yr half life, and in the upper atmosphere creates T2O a radioactive version of water! don't be alarmed its short half life prevents build up.

Helium Element Number 2 He

A photo of spectrum tube filled with Helium gas.

 Helium is the second element on the Periodic Table, It is also the 2nd lightest. Helium  consists of 2 protons, 2 neutrons and  2 electrons.  Helium holds the title of lowest melting and lowest boiling point of the elements. It is found in natural gas as a gas, because of this and on earth is generally a by-product of alpha decay of Uranium and other radioisotopes, in the Universe it is the second most abundant element. and between Hydrogen and Helium 99.9% of the universe atoms are spoken for.

Helium is a noble gas, (Inert) and used in a few common applications, "Neon" signs,  He-Ne lasers, and He can be found at most children's birthday parties because Helium is light enough to float a balloon. Helium will not bond with other elements and is monatomic which means it is found only as single atom molecules.

In WWII era the US had large stockpiles of Helium for various military applications, Helium is used as a coolant in advanced physics equipment, and liquid Helium can be used to detect  very small particles, because the particle will leave a trail similar to a vapor trail of an airline in the liquid Helium.


Helium tank bought at a local store in the birthday party goodies section. This tank can fill about 30 normal balloons. Recent news  about Helium inhalation death involving this type of tank prompts me to say, DO NOT INHALE! any pressurized gas is dangerous.