What is the most abundant chemical element in the Universe?

In the World cookbook, hydrogen is the most widely used ingredient. Scientists calculate that this chemical component can represent approximately 93% of the atoms in the atmosphere and 75% of the total amount of matter already estimated. It is found in abundance in the stars and is a major component of Jupiter and other major gas planets.

And why are there so many? Just because it is the simplest and lightest chemical component we know. The so-called light hydrogen (or protium) is made up of just one proton in one cell and one electron.

In space, they are found in the atomic and plasma states, whose characteristics are quite different from those of the hydrogen molecule (H2), as we know it in the world.

“In the form of plasma, electrons and hydrogen protons are not connected, which leads to higher electrical conductivity and higher emissions. What emits sunlight, for example”, explains Professor Júlio Afonso, from the Institute of Chemistry at UFRJ (University of the Rio de Janeiro Federation).

When did it come?

Hydrogen, along with some helium and possibly lithium, beryllium and boron, were formed in the early stages of the Universe. In 1766, English chemist and physicist Henry Cavendish became the first scientist to distinguish and study the physical properties of hydrogen. When he saw that it exploded when it came in contact with air, he called it “flammable gas”.

Other gases

The other percentages of atoms that make up the universe are helium (large amounts) and oxygen (small amounts). Approximately 20% of all helium in the Universe is in the stars.

After hydrogen, helium and oxygen, the representation of chemical elements begins to become smaller and smaller. To give you an idea, only carbon, neon, iron, nitrogen, silicon, magnesium, sulfur and argon are the only ones with an atomic mass of more than 0.01%. Now among the most rare chemical components are rhenium, lutetium, thulium and tantalum.

But before we talk about the Earth, it is worth remembering in detail: today, the Universe that we can “see”, that is, scientists know, accounts for only 5% of what the Universe could be. Therefore, hydrogen can be considered the only “king” of this piece we know.

Most numerous in the world

On our planet, let’s just say the scale is different. Hydrogen, for example, occupies only 9th place. Here, oxygen is more dominant, which makes up about half (47%) of the atoms that make up the Earth. It is located on the surface of the planet, in the water, in the air and on the rocks.

Then we have silicon (28%), aluminum (8.1%), iron (5.0%), calcium (3.6%), sodium (2.8%), potassium (2.6%) and magnesium (2.1%).

Now, if we consider the planet as a whole, not just the Earth’s crust, iron (32.1%) will be the most abundant chemical element in the earth’s core. Then we will have oxygen (30.1%), silicon (15.1%), magnesium (13.9%), sulfur (2.9%), nickel (1.8%), calcium (1.5%) and aluminum (1.4%).

He was advised by a specialist: Júlio Afonso, professor at the Institute of Chemistry at UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro).

* And the article Cintia Baio

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