Atomic structure of Lithium-7
Cracking in cast LiH after machining with a fly cutter. Scale is in inches.
Lithium ingots with a thin layer of black nitride tarnish
Lithium floating in oil
Lithium is about as common as chlorine in the Earth's upper continental crust, on a per-atom basis.
Nova Centauri 2013 is the first in which evidence of lithium has been found.
Johan August Arfwedson is credited with the discovery of lithium in 1817
Hexameric structure of the n-butyllithium fragment in a crystal
Scatter plots of lithium grade and tonnage for selected world deposits, as of 2017
Lithium use in flares and pyrotechnics is due to its rose-red flame.
The launch of a torpedo using lithium as fuel
Lithium deuteride was used as fuel in the Castle Bravo nuclear device.

Lithium hydride is an inorganic compound with the formula LiH.

- Lithium hydride

The transmutation of lithium atoms to helium in 1932 was the first fully man-made nuclear reaction, and lithium deuteride serves as a fusion fuel in staged thermonuclear weapons.

- Lithium
Atomic structure of Lithium-7

4 related topics



Rare and radioactive isotope of hydrogen.

Rare and radioactive isotope of hydrogen.

Radioluminescent 1.8 Ci 6 x tritium vials are thin, tritium-gas-filled glass vials whose inner surfaces are coated with a phosphor. The vial shown here is brand-new.
Swiss Military watch with tritium-illuminated face

It can be produced artificially by irradiating lithium metal or lithium-bearing ceramic pebbles in a nuclear reactor, and is a low-abundance byproduct in normal operations of nuclear reactors.

Since tritium undergoes radioactive decay, and is also difficult to confine physically, the much larger secondary charge of heavy hydrogen isotopes needed in a true hydrogen bomb uses solid lithium deuteride as its source of deuterium and tritium, producing the tritium in situ during secondary ignition.

The SHRIMP device in its shot cab

Castle Bravo

The first in a series of high-yield thermonuclear weapon design tests conducted by the United States at Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, as part of Operation Castle.

The first in a series of high-yield thermonuclear weapon design tests conducted by the United States at Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, as part of Operation Castle.

The SHRIMP device in its shot cab
The SHRIMP shortly before installation in its shot cab
SHRIMP’s parabolic projection
In a similar manner to the earlier pipes filled with a partial pressure of helium, as used in the Ivy Mike test of 1952, the 1954 Castle Bravo test was likewise heavily instrumented with Line-of-Sight (LOS) pipes, to better define and quantify the timing and energies of the x-rays and neutrons produced by these early thermonuclear devices. One of the outcomes of this diagnostic work resulted in this graphic depiction of the transport of energetic x-ray and neutrons through a vacuum line, some 2.3 km long, whereupon it heated solid matter at the "station 1200" blockhouse and thus generated a secondary fireball.
SHRIMPs cylindrical end
The Castle Bravo mushroom cloud
The Castle Bravo nuclear test: the mushroom cloud from the 15-megaton device, showing multiple condensation rings.
The Bravo fallout plume spread dangerous levels of radioactivity over an area over 280 mi long, including inhabited islands. The contour lines show the cumulative radiation exposure in roentgens (R) for the first 96 hours after the test. Although widely published, this fallout map is not perfectly correct.
The device's firing crew was located on Enyu island, variously spelled as Eneu island, as depicted here

Detonated on March 1, 1954, the device was the most powerful nuclear device detonated by the United States and its first lithium deuteride fueled thermonuclear weapon.

The final version tested in Castle used partially enriched lithium as its fusion fuel.

SEM image of LAH powder

Lithium aluminium hydride

SEM image of LAH powder
The crystal structure of LAH; Li atoms are purple and AlH4 tetrahedra are tan.
X-ray powder diffraction pattern of as-received LiAlH4. The asterisk designates an impurity, possibly LiCl.
Differential scanning calorimetry of as-received LiAlH4.
Volumetric and gravimetric hydrogen storage densities of different hydrogen storage
methods. Metal hydrides are represented with squares and complex hydrides with triangles (including LiAlH4).
Reported values for hydrides are excluding tank weight. DOE FreedomCAR targets are including tank weight.

Lithium aluminium hydride, commonly abbreviated to LAH, is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula LiAlH4.

In order to take advantage of the total hydrogen capacity, the intermediate compound LiH must be dehydrogenated as well.

Glass bottles containing butyllithium


Organolithium reagent.

Organolithium reagent.

Glass bottles containing butyllithium

Due to the large difference between the electronegativities of carbon (2.55) and lithium (0.98), the C−Li bond is highly polarized.

When heated, n-BuLi, analogously to other alkyllithium reagents with "β-hydrogens", undergoes β-hydride elimination to produce 1-butene and lithium hydride (LiH):