sethoflagos Posted March 1 Share Posted March 1 I was reading up on the equilibrium relationship of ortho and para (molecular) hydrogen (ortho having proton spins in parallel alignment, para ant-parallel). With para hydrogen being the lower energy state, relatively pure para hydrogen (~99.8%) can be obtained by chilling pure hydrogen down to around 20 K and keeping it there for a couple of days. If this is rapidly heated to a more moderate temperature and then kept fully insulated, the gas will slowly lose temperature as the the appropriate ortho/para equilibrium is established. Essentially an endothermic reaction. Though it can take several days to do this. It's sort of a remarkable behaviour in itself but it got me wondering exactly how the protons manage to extract energy from the bulk internal energy of the gas. I'm guessing the surrounding electron orbitals aren't the insulating cushions I'd pictured them to be. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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