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    • #15071
      squeehunter
      Participant

      Is there anywhere in the human body where there are free hydrogen atoms for any period of time?

    • #105242
      canalon
      Participant

      As protons (H+) a lot, all the time. See in particular mitochondrion.
      As H2 hydrogen gas, I doubt, maybe a few bubbles in the gut? Not even certain.

    • #105251
      squeehunter
      Participant

      See, I thought they were involved with proton pumps but then I read that those are only in non-human cells. And yeah, I just mean protons/hydrongs. Not actual gasses.

    • #105252
      jonmoulton
      Participant

      Protons are used in human cells, in particular in the mitochondria. Without chemiosmosis you’d die pretty quickly.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemiosmosis

      The ATPase is basically a proton pump running in reverse.

    • #105253
      squeehunter
      Participant

      Thanks a lot. And just to be sure, these are just free protons floating around, and not a part of a molecule right? And this takes place inside human cells? I don’t know much about this.

    • #105255
      mith
      Participant

      They’re not floating, they’re ions in water. In any sample of water, you’ll have free hydrogen ions.

    • #105256
      squeehunter
      Participant

      I’m sorry everyone, I’m getting confused. So are there in the human body, hydrogen atoms that are not part of molecules? Just normal hydrogen atoms with or without an electron and THAT’S IT aka, not stuck to a another hydrogen or oxygen or carbon atom or molecule or water molecule? Just free to move around until it hits something important.

      I’m confused because sometimes I see "protons" being used as terms for H3O+.

    • #105257
      mith
      Participant

      If this place exists, the atom is probably not going to be very stable i.e. will almost immediately stick to something else.

    • #107085
      JackBean
      Participant

      no, there is never free proton (H+) in water (AKA in human or any other body), it is always bound to water, thus H3O+, but it’s kind of convenient and historical to write it as H+ only.

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