nascent hydrogen

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A reactive form of hydrogen generated in situ in the reaction mixture (e.g. by the action of acid on zinc). Nascent hydrogen can reduce elements and compounds that do not readily react with ‘normal’ hydrogen. It was once thought that the hydrogen was present as atoms, but this is not the case. Probably hydrogen molecules are formed in an excited state and react before they revert to the ground state.

Subjects: Chemistry.

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