New Hydrogen Form Created

A newly discovered form of hydrogen could help scientists learn more about our universe.

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Jayme Bailey

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Physicists have recently created a new, negatively charged form of hydrogen. These clusters of molecules are made of hydrogen and formed around a negatively charged ion. The most commonly made clusters have an atomic number of 25, 65, or 89, but the atom numbers can range anywhere from five to 125, always being an odd number. Based on its symmetric icosahedron (20-sided polyhedron) shape, scientists account for the odd atomic number of the atom.

In order to create this negative cluster of hydrogen, researchers first injected cold liquid helium droplets with hydrogen molecules to form clusters with a neutral charge. According to Current Affairs Today, they exposed these hydrogen-infused droplets to an electron beam, causing the hydrogen molecules to ionize and come out as negatively charged hydrogen ions.

“My favorite thing about this discovery is that such a little thing like a molecule can be formed in such a big place like space,” senior Eston Iman said.

Researchers are most excited about this discovery because many thought these clusters only formed naturally in outer space. Now having the knowledge that this negative hydrogen exists, it will become easier to discover this stabilized form throughout nature. In turn, this could also help scientists determine if dark matter really does exist.

“It would be really interesting to see what kind of discoveries could be made by the help of this new strand of hydrogen,” senior Evan Goodwin said.