Hydrogen is the simplest and lightest element on the periodic table. It’s also an important component of water and many organic molecules. This chemical element has one proton and as a result, it usually has one electron. However, hydrogen has three isotopes which have different numbers of neutrons in their atomic nucleus that can affect the number of electrons.
In its most common form, hydrogen has only one electron orbiting around its nucleus. Additionally, since it has only one proton, its atomic number is 1. This means that the number of protons (which are positively charged) equals the number of electrons (which are negatively charged) that surround the nucleus. As a result, hydrogen is an electrically neutral atom, and the electron helps keep the two positively charged particles separate.
When hydrogen loses its electron or gains an extra electron, it becomes an ion, which means it carries a charge. The resulting ion is positively charged when hydrogen loses an electron, while it is negatively charged when hydrogen gains an electron. For instance, the hydrogen ion with a positive charge and no electrons is called a proton. This can be found in the nucleus.
On the other hand, when hydrogen gains one or more electrons, it forms an anion. When it gains two electrons, it is called hydride. The hydride ion is typical in inorganic chemistry and is quite commonly used in field theory. The basic structure of atomic hydrogen is considered to be the Bohr Model configuration, where the single electron revolves around the center of the nucleus comprised of a single proton.
Furthermore, Hydrogen also has three isotopes: protium, deuterium, and tritium. Protium is the most common isotope of hydrogen, as it contains a single proton and electron. Deuterium, on the other hand, has an additional neutron, making it heavier and less abundant. Its nucleus consists of one proton, one electron, and one neutron. Tritium, the rarest isotope of hydrogen, has two neutrons and one proton in its nucleus.
Since electrons have a negative charge while protons carry a positive charge, the overall charge of an atom depends on the balance between these two types of subatomic particles. Thus, by knowing the number of protons in the hydrogen atom, one can also determine the number of electrons it has. The number of neutrons, however, varies for each isotope.
In summary, hydrogen, the simplest element, has only one electron. But due to its isotopes and their different numbers of neutrons, the number of electrons in a hydrogen atom can differ. Protium, the most common form of hydrogen, has only one electron orbiting around its nucleus. Deuterium, with one proton, one electron, and one neutron in its nucleus, has one more neutron than protium, while tritium, having one proton, one electron, and two neutrons in its nucleus, has one more neutron than deuterium.