This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown.
Now we all know that all visible matter is made up of various elements, including life. At present, there are 118 kinds of elements known by human beings, of which 94 exist on the earth. Among the numerous elements, the first is hydrogen. Many people may not understand why hydrogen is the first element? Now let’s make a simple analysis of this.
The content of hydrogen in the earth is not much. If calculated by mass, hydrogen accounts for about one percent of the total mass of the earth. However, in most cases, hydrogen is not presented in the form of hydrogen atoms, but in the form of certain compounds. For example, the most common form of water is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.
Although the amount of hydrogen on earth is not much, it is the largest element in the universe. If calculated by mass, the mass of hydrogen can account for more than 90% of the total matter in the universe. Because of the light weight of hydrogen atoms, the number of hydrogen atoms is more than 100 times higher than the total number of other atoms in the universe.
Why is there so much hydrogen in the universe? We will start with the big bang. About 13.8 billion years ago, a singularity with infinite density and mass exploded for some unknown reason, and the universe was born. At the moment of the big bang, time, space and all kinds of matter burst out at the same time. That is to say, at this moment, the basic unit of cosmic matter “basic particles” were formed. With the emergence of basic particles, protons and neutrons gradually formed. However, at this time, there were no elements in the universe.
After the birth of the “basic particles” of the universe with the big bang, it took hundreds of thousands of years of evolution to form the initial elements of the universe, among which hydrogen is one and the most, and helium ranks second. In a way, we can even say that the universe is composed of hydrogen and helium, because hydrogen accounts for 90% of the total matter in the universe, while helium accounts for 8%.
Hydrogen and helium were the only two elements in the original universe. With the passage of time, hydrogen and helium underwent a series of evolution, and then other elements appeared. Among them, hydrogen played the most important role. In a sense, hydrogen is the source of elements and everything. Without a large amount of hydrogen in the beginning, there would not have been as many as 118 elements in the future, let alone the colorful universe and the birth of life.
And an important tool for evolving hydrogen into other elements is stars. As we all know, stars are the most common celestial bodies in the universe. They are the light and heat source of the universe. It is with the existence of a large number of stars that the dark and cold universe has a trace of light and warmth, and the birth of a living planet.
More than 70% of the material in the star is hydrogen, and its center is a huge nuclear fusion reactor. A large number of hydrogen elements are continuously processed and smelted in the form of nuclear fusion, converted into other elements, and then released into the universe. So the star is the most important hydrogen processing and smelting factory in the universe. The hydrogen in the universe continuously forms other elements through the smelting and transformation of the star, and then all kinds of other elements form all things, so that everything in the present universe can be obtained.
It can be seen that hydrogen plays an important role in the universe. Its previous life created all things, but now hydrogen still plays an important role in the universe and is still the largest element in the universe. Gas giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn, though not stars due to their substandard mass, have no less hydrogen than the sun.
As mankind entered the era of science and technology, hydrogen was discovered and its leading position in the elements was determined. Hydrogen is very important for the development of human science and technology. It is the research and exploration of hydrogen that makes hydrogen more useful and promotes the rapid development of human science and technology.
Hydrogen has three characteristics: first, it is easy to produce in large quantities; second, it can burn and explode; third, the product is water. This shows that a new type of green high energy fuel which is easy to produce has been found. This is hydrogen, an element that is about to have a significant impact on the present and future of mankind.
Nowadays, hydrogen has become an important industrial raw material. About 2 / 3 of the hydrogen produced in the world is used in the ammonia industry. The flame of hydrogen burning in oxygen reaches 3000 ℃, which can be used to melt and cut metals. Hydrogen bomb is produced by using the energy generated by nuclear fusion of hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium. Liquid hydrogen, as the most ideal rocket fuel, is mixed with liquid oxygen Burning can produce a specific impulse of about 350.
These applications of hydrogen just play a part of the role of hydrogen. We have not yet realized the really powerful applications, such as controllable nuclear fusion technology, which is an epoch-making application of hydrogen. Once we realize controllable nuclear fusion technology, it can not only help people get rid of polluting chemical energy, but also gradually improve the earth’s ecological environment and promote the development of nuclear energy The powerful energy generated by clustering can also make epoch-making progress in human space science and technology, such as the preliminary sub light speed flight.
Of course, nuclear fusion is an artificial sun. With nuclear fusion technology, we can create an artificial sun, which will play a very important role in the future migration of human beings to Mars or other planets. For example, the temperature of Mars is low, and human migration may not adapt to the temperature there in the past. At this time, we put an artificial sun in the orbit of Mars, which can greatly increase the temperature of Mars and make it suitable for human survival.
There is another more important application of hydrogen, which is metal hydrogen, that is, solid hydrogen. I believe many people know that any gas can condense into liquid or solid under high pressure. Liquid hydrogen has become an important energy source. When the pressure continues to increase, the liquid hydrogen will continue to condense and finally become solid hydrogen, which is the metal hydrogen that scientists have been studying and exploring.
Metal hydrogen may be a kind of high temperature superconductor, if it can be realized, it will be of great significance to human beings. Although human beings can not fully realize metal hydrogen by relying on current science and technology, metal hydrogen has long been born in the universe. For example, Jupiter is a gas giant, and the main component of the atmosphere is hydrogen. According to the research and exploration of scientists, the hydrogen in Jupiter’s atmosphere is not all gaseous, the outermost layer is gaseous hydrogen, and the middle layer is already liquid hydrogen ocean due to the effect of high pressure. In the innermost layer, the pressure is so high that the hydrogen is transformed into a solid state and becomes the structure of metal hydrogen.
Of course, whether Jupiter’s innermost atmosphere is a solid hydrogen structure is still only a guess of scientists. Only when human science and technology develop to be able to enter Jupiter’s inner atmosphere can we know. In any case, hydrogen is the most important element in the universe, and its content in the universe is very high. If human beings can fully tap the potential of hydrogen in the future, it may bring a great leap to human civilization.
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