deuterium do͞otēr´ēəm [key], isotope of hydrogen with mass no. 2. The deuterium nucleus, called a deuteron, contains one proton and one neutron. Deuterium is also called heavy hydrogen, and water in which the hydrogen atoms are deuterium is called heavy water (deuterium oxide, D 2O). Deuterons are sometimes used in particle accelerators, and heavy water is used in swimming pool nuclear reactors as a moderator.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Compounds and Elements