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The terms proton p and hydrogen ion H+ are used synonymously in chemistry. In particle physics, a proton is a subatomic particle with a positive electric charge. Protons and neutrons are collectively referred to as nucleons. The proton is a bare charge with only about 1/64 000 of the radius of a hydrogen atom, and so the free proton is extremely reactive chemically. Therefore, the free proton has an extremely short lifetime in aqueous solutions where it forms the hydronium ion, H3O+, which in turn is further solvated by water molecules in clusters such as H5O2+ and H9O4+.

Abbreviation: p+, p

Reference: Bunnett, Jones 1988, Headrick JM, Diken EG, Walters RS, Hammer NI, Christie RA, Cui J, Myshakin EM, Duncan MA, Johnson MA, Jordan KD (2005) Spectral signatures of hydrated proton vibrations in water clusters. Science 308:1765–69.


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MitoPedia concepts: Ergodynamics 

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