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Atomic Disguise Makes Helium Look Like Hydrogen

January 30th, 2011 01:17 admin Leave a comment Go to comments


An anonymous reader writes “In a feat of modern-day alchemy, atom tinkerers have fooled hydrogen atoms into accepting a helium atom as one of their own, reports New Scientist. Donald Fleming of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues managed to disguise a helium atom as a hydrogen atom by replacing one of its orbiting electrons with a muon, which is far heavier than an electron. The camouflaged atom behaves chemically like hydrogen, but has four times the mass of normal hydrogen, allowing predictions for how atomic mass affects reaction rates to be put to the test.”

Source: Atomic Disguise Makes Helium Look Like Hydrogen

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