Concept

Helium-3

Summary
Helium-3 (3He see also helion) is a light, stable isotope of helium with two protons and one neutron (in contrast, the most common isotope, helium-4 has two protons and two neutrons). Other than protium (ordinary hydrogen), helium-3 is the only stable isotope of any element with more protons than neutrons. Helium-3 was discovered in 1939. Helium-3 occurs as a primordial nuclide, escaping from Earth's crust into its atmosphere and into outer space over millions of years. Helium-3 is also thought to be a natural nucleogenic and cosmogenic nuclide, one produced when lithium is bombarded by natural neutrons, which can be released by spontaneous fission and by nuclear reactions with cosmic rays. Some of the helium-3 found in the terrestrial atmosphere is also an artifact of atmospheric and underwater nuclear weapons testing. Much speculation has been made over the possibility of helium-3 as a future energy source. Unlike most nuclear fusion reactions, the fusion of helium-3 atoms release
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