How Was Hydrogen Discovered?


Quick Answer

Henry Cavendis discovered hydrogen in 1766 in a chemical reaction when he was experimenting with acid and metal. Later in 1781, Cavendis also found that hydrogen produces water when burned. Many scientists came in contact with hydrogen before Cavendis recognized it, but never identified it as a unique element, says Science for Kids.

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In 1671, Robert Boyle also produced hydrogen as a result of an experiment with acid and iron. It was later named by Antoine Lavoisier, a French chemist, according to Live Science.

Hydrogen is the first element listed on the periodic table and is represented by the symbol "H." The origins of the word "hydrogen" come from Greece, where "hydro" means water, and "genes" means "creator." It is the most commonly found element in the universe. It is used in hydrogen peroxide, as an element for welding and as a potential fuel source for vehicles. It was used as gas for air travel by zeppelins up until the Hindenburg disaster in 1937, says Science for Kids.

Hydrogen is present in almost all living molecules, yet hydrogen in its purest form in the atmosphere is very scarce. Most often Hhydrogen is found combined with another element, creating water and organic matter, says Live Science.

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