deuterium

noun

deu·​te·​ri·​um dü-ˈtir-ē-əm How to pronounce deuterium (audio)
 also  dyü-
: an isotope of hydrogen that has one proton and one neutron in its nucleus and that has twice the mass of ordinary hydrogen
symbol D

called also heavy hydrogen

Examples of deuterium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This means that after bombarding a pellet of frozen deuterium and tritium with laser beams, more energy was produced than went into generating the fusion reaction in the first place. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, 13 Dec. 2022 Getting to the meat of the matter, Zubrin makes a case for shipping deuterium–a rare isotope of hydrogen–from Mars to Earth based primarily on its 4x abundance there and the assumption that Starship will reduce interplanetary freight-costs to $100/kg. Greg Autry, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 That extreme heat forces the deuterium and tritium to fuse together and form helium, a process that in turn releases enormous amounts of heat. Angela Dewan, CNN, 8 Feb. 2024 The groundbreaking result was achieved at the California lab’s National Ignition Facility (NIF), which uses an array of 192 high-power lasers to blast tiny pellets of deuterium and tritium fuel in a process known as inertial confinement fusion. IEEE Spectrum, 6 Feb. 2024 Webb is an ideal tool for such a search because the smallest stars—brown dwarfs, which emit light from the fusion of deuterium—are most visible in infrared light. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 14 Dec. 2023 But instead of hydrogen-boron, the company is placing its bets on a helium-3 and deuterium fuel cycle. IEEE Spectrum, 15 Oct. 2023 The grim reality of fusion is that the world’s largest project, the ITER, will not be tested with deuterium and tritium fuel until 2035, and couldn’t produce any useful power for quite a few years after that. IEEE Spectrum, 31 Dec. 2023 That eliminates the need to freeze the deuterium and tritium at ultralow temperatures. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, 13 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deuterium.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Greek deuteros second

First Known Use

1933, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of deuterium was in 1933

Dictionary Entries Near deuterium

Cite this Entry

“Deuterium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deuterium. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

deuterium

noun
deu·​te·​ri·​um d(y)ü-ˈtir-ē-əm How to pronounce deuterium (audio)
: the hydrogen isotope that is twice the mass of ordinary hydrogen

called also heavy hydrogen

Medical Definition

deuterium

noun
deu·​te·​ri·​um d(y)ü-ˈtir-ē-əm How to pronounce deuterium (audio)
: an isotope of hydrogen that has one proton and one neutron in its nucleus and that has twice the mass of ordinary hydrogen

called also heavy hydrogen

More from Merriam-Webster on deuterium

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