deuterium

noun
deu·​te·​ri·​um | \ dü-ˈtir-ē-əm also dyü- \

Definition of deuterium

: 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

The ratio of deuterium (an isotope of hydrogen with a proton and a neutron in its nucleus, instead of just a proton) to other hydrogen isotopes in those fats can reveal information about the ancient climate. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists use ancient dirty dishes to reconstruct climate shifts," 13 Aug. 2018 Since hydrogen and deuterium have identical shapes but different vibrational frequencies, the results again suggested that our noses could indeed detect vibrations. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 Universes with a weaker weak force would have stars with more deuterium, which is a hydrogen atom with an extra neutron within its nucleus. Charles Q. Choi, Space.com, "Why Alternate Universes Might Also Host Life Around their Stars," 26 Sep. 2018 Meanwhile any object less than 13 Jupiter masses should fail to trigger deuterium fusion and thus would be a planet. Nola Taylor Redd, Scientific American, "It’s Full of Stars: New 3-D Milky Way Map Could Settle Debate over Who Discovered the First Exoplanet," 20 Apr. 2018 In any case, the reason to differentiate them isn't burning deuterium. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "Are Brown Dwarfs Planets or Failed Stars?," 24 Mar. 2018 The nuclear fuel used in the Alcator C-Mod previously contained just two types of ions, deuterium and hydrogen. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "MIT Achieves Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion," 28 Aug. 2017 The excited hydrogen ions then slam into the more abundant deuterium ions, and resulting particles fly into the reactor's outer shell, generating heat and electricity. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "MIT Achieves Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion," 28 Aug. 2017 To make a hydrogen bomb, one would still need uranium or plutonium as well as two other isotopes of hydrogen, called deuterium and tritium. Melissa Chan, Time, "What Is the Difference Between a Hydrogen Bomb and an Atomic Bomb?," 22 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deuterium.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of deuterium

1933, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for deuterium

New Latin, from Greek deuteros second

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

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The first known use of deuterium was in 1933

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More Definitions for deuterium

deuterium

noun
deu·​te·​ri·​um | \ d(y)ü-ˈtir-ē-əm \

Medical Definition of deuterium

: 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deuterium

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about deuterium

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