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Hydrogen Isotopes


Margaret A. Winker

Hydrogen Isotopes

Two isotopes of hydrogen have their own specific names, deuterium and tritium, which should be used instead of “hydrogen 2” and “hydrogen 3.” In text, the specific names are also preferred to the symbols 2H or D (for deuterium, which is stable) and 3H (for tritium, which is radioactive). The 2 forms of heavy water, D2O and 3H2O, should be referred to by the approved nonproprietary names deuterium oxide and tritiated water, respectively.

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