Name: Sheri H.
When hydrogen spews out its only electron, where
does the electron go?
It depends on what type of environment the hydrogen atom is
in. First off, hydrogen exist in nature as a diatom, meaning that
hydrogen gass is H2, not H1. If you are talking about hydrogen
inside of the sun, then the elevated temperature gives the atom so
much energy that the electron is elevated to (somewhere about) the
22nd S-orbital. This condition is called plasma and the electrons
and protons are now a sea with no real attachments to eachother,
only distant interactions.
If you are talking about an hydrogen atom in an small organic
molecule (like water), then a negatively charged atom can take the
proton and the electron is transfered to the oxygen on water, which
is left as a hydroxyl group (-OH).
It is also possible to eject the electron via radiation stimulation,
which usually takes place within a particle accelerator. The proton
and the electron would then be trapped in a magnetic field and
accelerated for whatever use.
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Update: June 2012