Hydrogen is the natural element in the Universe and is a major constituent of stars. It is relatively much less common on Earth but nevertheless forms nearly 1% by mass of the oceans and crust, principally as water and in hydroxide and hydrates minerals of the crust.
The dihydrogen molecule H2 is the stable form of the element under simple conditions, although atomic hydrogen may be made in the gas phase at high temperatures, and hydrogen may convert a metallic liquid or solid at extremely high pressures. At 1 bar pressure, dihydrogen condenses to a liquid at 20 K and solidifies at 14 K, these being the minimum boiling and melting points for any substance except helium. The H-H bond has a dissociation enthalpy of 436 kJ mol-1 and a length of 74 pm. That is the shortest bond known, and one of the strongest single covalent bonds.
Although it is thermodynamically capable of reacting with many compounds and elements, these reactions usually have a large kinetic barrier and needs elevated temperatures and/or the use of catalysts.
Hydrides of metals
Not every metallic elements form hydrides. Those that do will be classified as follows.