Monday, September 16, 2013

Ortho and Para hydrogen ( Spin Isomers Of hydrogen )

        The hydrogen molecule contains two atoms, in which the nuclei of both the atoms are spinning. Depending upon the direction of the spin of the nuclei, the hydrogen are of two types.
         The protons in the nuclei of both H-atom spin in same direction is termed as ortho hydrogen.
          The protons in the nuclei of both H-atom spin in opposite direction is termed as para hydrogen.
              In the state of thermal equilibrium at room temperature dihydrogen contains 75% of ortho hydrogen and 25% of para hydrogen. At 25 K, 99% of para hydrogen and 1% of ortho hydrogen. At 0 K hydrogen contains mainly para hydrogen which is more stable. At room temperature the ratio of ortho to para hydrogen is 3:1.
              At low temperature, para hydrogen is favored energetically. The para form was originally prepared by absorbing ordinary hydrogen in activated charcoal in a quartz vessel kept at temperature of 20 K. The charcoal absorb almost pure para hydrogen. By this method pure para hydrogen can be isolated.
               The ortho form was originally prepared at low temperature, the two spin isomers are not equally absorbed on diamagnetic surfaces. Single stage separation of ortho hydrogen on alumina at 77 K, obtain a mixtures of 15 % para hydrogen and 85% of ortho hydrogen.
                Ordinary dihydrogen is an equilibrium mixture of ortho and para hydrogen.


  1. Nuclear Spin of Hydrogen: Systemic failure like onset of menstrual flow upon sudden death of a dear one is attributed to nuclear spin (multi-directional) of H+ ion that activates group of hormones (estrogen, progesterone, FSH and LH) due to intra-membranous signaling taking place at one millionth of a second. (Per Mukesh Doble and Gummadi Sathyanarayana in Biochemical Engineering, "at any given instant, the molecules of liquid water are hydrogen bonded with a half-time of less than one millionth of a second.")

  2. The nuclear spin of hydrogen is activated per the spontaneity factor of Second Law of Thermodynamics.