Deuteron Mass

What is Deuteron?

The deuteron is a subatomic particle that contains a neutron and a proton. The atom is called deuterium, and its nucleus is called a deuteron. It is one of the two stable isotopes of hydrogen. It is a stable particle due to the presence of the same number of neutrons and protons. Because of which, deuterium is positively charged. The free neutron of the deuterium atom is unstable and hence it usually undergoes beta decay with a half-life period of around 10.3 minutes.


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Binding energy is defined as the amount of energy needed to split a particle from a system of particles or to disperse the entire particles of the system. The binding energy of deuteron is approximately equal to 2.2 MeV. During the process of beta decay, change in energy occurs inside the atom. If the free neutron of the deuterium undergoes beta decay to form a proton, an electron, and an antineutrino, the total mass-energy of the constituent particles will be:


2(938.27 MeV) + 0.511 MeV = 1877.05 MeV


However, the energy of a deuteron particle is 1875.6 MeV, which means that it is stable against beta decay in terms of energy. During beta decay, the free neutron produces energy of 0.78 MeV, but the deuteron that has the binding energy of 2.2 MeV prevents the decay of the neutrons.


Did you know - The stability of the deuterium atom has played a major role during the formation of the universe in the initial stage. In the Big Bang model it is assumed that the number of protons and neutrons are equal. In the early stages the available energies were much higher as compared to 0.78 MeV required to convert an electron and a proton into a neutron. When the temperature dropped, the neutrons were no longer generated from the protons. The decay of neutrons gradually decreased the number of neutrons. The neutrons which combined with the protons and formed the deuteron didn't undergo any further decay. If all the neutrons had decayed, the universe wouldn't be as we know it.


Deuterium Explained

Deuterium or hydrogen-2, symbol D, is also known as heavy hydrogen. There are two stable isotopes of hydrogen; one is protium or hydrogen-1 and the other is deuterium or hydrogen-2. The nucleus of deuterium is called a deuteron which contains a proton and a neutron, whereas the protium doesn't contain any neutron in its nucleus. Deuterium is abundantly available in the oceans, one deuterium atom is found per 6420 atoms of hydrogen.


Deuteron Mass and Charge

Deuterium is a stable atomic particle containing a proton and neutron. It is denoted by D or 2H and is called Hydrogen-2. Mass of deuteron is expressed in terms of an atomic mass unit (amu) or electron volts (eV). The Charge of deuteron is +1e. This is due to the presence of protons.


1 Amu in Mev

The atomic mass unit (amu) is defined as the 1/12 mass of a carbon-12 atom. The carbon-12 or C-12 atom consists of 6 neutrons and 6 protons in its nucleus. Precisely, one amu is the average mass proton and neutron at rest.


If we want to convert the binding energy in terms of MeV (mega electron volt) per nucleon, will have to apply the conversion factor which is given by


1 MeV = 1.602 x 10-13 J


One amu is equivalent to energy of 931.5 MeV.


Amu Value

One AMU is the average of the rest mass of a neutron and the rest mass of a proton. This mass is approximately equal to 1.67377 x 10-27 kilogram (kg), or 1.67377 x 10-24 gram (g). The mass of an atomic particle in terms of amu is approximately equal to the number of protons and neutrons in its nucleus.


Mev Meaning

Million Electron Volts

MeV is the abbreviation for mega-electron volt, and mev is the abbreviation for million electron volts.


A MeV or Mega electron-volt is 1 million times of an eV. One eV (electron-volt) is defined as the energy gained by an electron (or any other charged particle having a charge equal to that of an electron) when it passes through a potential difference of 1 volt. In SI unit 1eV is equal to 1.6*10-19 Joules.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Difference Between Deuterium and a Deuteron?

Ans- Deuterium is an atom; it is an isotope of hydrogen, while deuteron is the nucleus of deuterium.

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This nucleus contains a neutron and an electron. The deuterium isotope is represented by 2H or D, whereas the deuteron is represented by 2H+ which is similar to the representation of a proton (H+).


Since deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen, one of its compounds, the deuterium oxide or H2O2 is cheaply available and is heavily used by chemists as an organic anion.

2. Whose Mass is Greater, Proton or Deuteron.

Ans- The mass of a deuterium atom is greater than that of a proton; this is because of the presence of a neutron in the deuterium. Also, the mass of a neutron is a little bit more to that of a proton. This is why the mass of deuterium is almost twice of size to that of a proton.

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3. Is it Possible to Separate a Charge From a Mass?

Ans- Electric Charge is one of the intrinsic properties of matter. It is one of the fundamental quantities which come into existence due to the presence of an excess number of electrons or deficiency of electrons, or that of protons. A charge is a property of matter, but is not a physical entity. The electric charge originates due to the presence of some mass, and without any mass charge cannot exist as there will be no source to produce it.


Electric charge is an intrinsic characteristic of the fundamental particles like protons and electrons which makes up the basis of matter, and hence the charge will automatically come out from this particle wherever they exist. So it is not practically possible to separate electric charge from mass as they are coexisting in nature.


Till date, there hasn't been any experimental attempt to separate a charge from a mass. This may be because the equipment being developed these days are not able to measure or distinguish between such properties.