deuterium

noun
deu·​te·​ri·​um | \ dü-ˈtir-ē-əm How to pronounce deuterium (audio) 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

To find out how many calories the athletes in the study burned, Pontzer, Carlson, and colleagues replaced the normal hydrogen and oxygen in their drinking water with harmless, uncommon isotopes of those elements—deuterium and oxygen-18. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "Study of marathon runners reveals a ‘hard limit’ on human endurance," 5 June 2019 The resulting increase in deuterium ratios lines up well with what archaeologists saw in animal fat residues from the period. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists use ancient dirty dishes to reconstruct climate shifts," 13 Aug. 2018 And data on how ratios of hydrogen and its heavier cousin, deuterium, vary in water by altitude and season will be crucial for understanding the history of water on Mars, says Ehlmann. Nisha Gaind, Scientific American, "Mars Probe Poised to Solve Red Planet’s Methane Mystery," 26 Apr. 2018 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

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

16 Jun 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 How to pronounce deuterium (audio) \

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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