February 2, 2017

...AND CHEAPER...:

Metallic hydrogen finally made in lab at mind-boggling pressure (Leah Crane, 1/27/17, New Scientist)

Metallic hydrogen has been created in the lab for the first time, by squeezing a sample of the element to pressures beyond what exists at the centre of the Earth. The creation of a substance first predicted more than 80 years ago could one day lead to superfast computers or souped-up rocket fuel.

Two researchers at Harvard University achieved the feat using diamonds to squeeze solid hydrogen at low temperatures, until the atoms were so packed that they started to share electrons. The shared cloud of electrons indicated a transition into a metallic state, making the hydrogen shiny and electrically conductive.

"If this experiment is reproducible, it solves experimentally one of the major outstanding problems in all of physics," says Jeffrey McMahon at Washington State University in Pullman.

Posted by at February 2, 2017 6:30 PM

  

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