MadSci Network: Biochemistry

Re: When the water used in photosynthesis splits, does the hydrogen atom become

Date: Wed Mar 10 14:59:44 1999
Posted By: Vineet Gupta, Post-doc/Fellow, Molecular Biophysics, Rockefeller University
Area of science: Biochemistry
ID: 920550957.Bc

>When the water used in photosynthesis splits, does the hydrogen 
>atom become a proton when it gives up its electron and becomes 

Yes, the water is split to produce oxygen and 2 protons.

>I was told that hydrogen has no neutron, is this true?  

Yes. Hydrogen atom has one proton and one electron.
In simple terms, the proton forms the nucleus around which an electron 

>If this is the case, if a free proton and electron 
>are combined, does this automatically make hydrogen?

Well, technically yes, but it is not that simple. Hydrogen is
usually found as a diatomic molecule H2. That is, two atoms of
hydrogen are bonded together to form hydrogen molecule 
(which is a gas). Elemental hydrogen is unstable.

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