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Triatomic Hydrogen

Papers on the reactivity of hydrogen prepared by the electrolysis of dilute sulphuric acid have been published by Osann. The special reactivity of the gas was proved by Lowenthal to be due to the presence of sulphur dioxide derived from the sulphuric acid.

An active form of hydrogen ("hyzone") has been prepared by Wendt and Landauer by the action of an electrical discharge on dry hydrogen at reduced pressure. The product reduces sulphur to hydrogen sulphide; it also reduces nitrogen, phosphorus, arsenic, and both acidic and neutral solutions of potassium permanganate. It is unstable, its reconversion into the ordinary form being complete in the space of about a minute. The formula H3 is suggested for this variety of hydrogen. It has not been possible to convert more than 0.02 per cent, of the hydrogen into the active form. The contraction in volume of the hydrogen during the transformation indicates the polyatomic nature of the product. It liquefies when cooled with liquid oxygen.

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