Harold Urey and the discovery of deuterium

  title={Harold Urey and the discovery of deuterium},
  author={Ferdinand G. Brickwedde},
  journal={Physics Today},
It was on Thanksgiving day in 1931 that Harold Clayton Urey found definitive evidence of a heavy isotope of hydrogen. Urey's discovery of deuterium is a story of the fruitful use of primitive nuclear and thermodynamic models. But it is also a story of missed opportunity and errors—errors that are particularly interesting because of the crucial positive role that some of them played in the discovery. A look at the nature of the theoretical and experimental work that led to the detection of… 
A Hydrogen Isotope of Mass 2
Deuterium (symbol D or 2H, also known as heavy hydrogen) is one of two stable isotopes of hydrogen. The nucleus of deuterium, called a deuteron, contains one proton and one neutron, whereas the far
Isotopes and Analogs of Hydrogen – from Fundamental Investigations to Practical Applications
The story of the part played by hydrogen and its stable isotope deuterium in the primordial synthesis of the elements is retells, then it is described how the spectrum of atomic hydrogen led to insights into the laws governing matter at the most fundamental level.
The many faces of the Bohr atom
The atomic model that Niels Bohr suggested in 1913 celebrated its greatest victories in connection with one-electron atoms. Among them were the isotopic spectral effect and what became known as
The proton inventory technique.
The proton inventory technique uses the dependence of enzymic reaction rate on the atom fraction of deuterium present in mixtures of protium oxide and deuterium oxide to deduce for simple cases the
Deuterium effects on the vibrational circular dichroism spectra of flavanone.
Density functional theory calculations were used for the accurate prediction of vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) spectra and it was revealed that the VCD spectra show significant variations induced by the deuterium incorporation.
Dynamics of photohole trapping in silver chloride
Abstract EPR experiments on photoholes in both AgCl :Cu and AgCl :Pd show the existence of an activation energy barrier, of height near 1.8 meV, in the transition to the localized self-trapped state.


A Hydrogen Isotope of Mass 2 and its Concentration
In a recent paper Birge and Menzel pointed out that if hydrogen had an isotope with mass number two present to the extent of one part in 4500, it would explain the discrepancy which exists between
Masses of some Light Atoms determined by a New Method
IT has long been realised that the only really certain method of comparing masses by observations on mass spectra is by resolving and measuring naturally occurring doublets which represent small
The search for knowledge of the underlying conditions determining health on the one side and disease on the other is no longer confined to man himself, and medicine takes on an almost universal aspect.
Concentration of the H Isotope of Hydrogen by the Fractional Electrolysis of Water.
  • E. W. Washburn, H. Urey
  • Chemistry, Medicine
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1932
The discovery of deuterium
  • For an interesting account of the discovery of deuterium, see
  • 1964
  • Soc. 51,