Hydrogen Current Affairs - 2019
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The scientists have detected the first molecule to ever form from stray atoms in the universe. The first such molecule was helium hydride, a combination of helium and hydrogen. The discovery is a first step in unlocking the mystery of the universe’s chemistry.
About the Discovery
- The research was published in the journal Nature.
- The researchers used the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) SOFIA, the world’s largest airborne observatory, to detect helium hydride in NGC 7027, a planetary nebula about 3,000 light-years away from Earth.
Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to carry a 106-inch diameter telescope.
Scientists for long had held that around 100,000 years after the big bang, helium and hydrogen combined to make a molecule called helium hydride for the first time. But scientists could not find HeH+ in space and it was unproven. The discovery brought a long search to a happy ending and eliminates doubts about our understanding of the underlying chemistry of the early universe.
Physicists from Austria have created new form of Hydrogen i.e. negatively charged hydrogen clusters. It is a previously unseen form of hydrogen.
For the past forty years, existence of hydrogen in ion clusters was known and is positively-charged clusters have already exists.
How negatively charged Hydrogen Clusters were created?
- Researchers first injected cold liquid helium droplets with hydrogen molecules to form clusters with a neutral charge. Then they exposed these hydrogen-infused droplets to an electron beam.
- This caused some hydrogen molecules to ionize and be flung out into the surrounding vacuum as negatively charged hydrogen ions.
- Soon, the nearby hydrogen molecules started clustering around the negatively charged ions to create negatively charged hydrogen clusters that could boast a few, or many molecules each.
- The newly created negatively charged hydrogen clusters existed only for microseconds (1 microsecond = 0.000001 seconds). But it was enough time for researchers to determine their geometric structures.
- Significance of Research: It will help researchers to easily identify the clusters in nature.