SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Deuterium (D). Diagram showing the nuclear composition and electron configuration of an atom of hydrogen-2 (deuterium). This is one of two stable isotopes of the element hydrogen, the other being hydrogen-1. The nucleus of deuterium consists of a single proton (red) and a single neutron (blue). Like hydrogen-1, deuterium has a single electron (green) bound to its nucleus, occupying the first of successive electron shells (ring). Around 1 in 6420 atoms of hydrogen are deuterium, with the rest being hydrogen-1. Deuterium is used in nuclear reactors ('heavy water'), medical tracers, and nuclear spectroscopy.
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