Have scientists produced a speck of solid metallic hydrogen?


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Scientists using a diamond vise think they have produced the first speck of solid metallic hydrogen, potentially capable of being a superconductor at normal temperatures.

While the scientists who performed the experiment believe they have succeeded, others are skeptical. Read it all. This is quite fascinating research.

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3 comments

  • Cotour

    The new Feishman and Pons?

    If this is indeed true in all of its aspects, what mechanism is proposed that would allow metallic hydrogen under such intense pressure to remain in its metallic state sans the pressure?

  • Tom Billings

    ….”what mechanism is proposed that would allow metallic hydrogen under such intense pressure to remain in its metallic state sans the pressure?”

    The same mechanism that lets a diamond stay in its metastable state when the temperature drops and the pressure is let up and the thing stays a diamond instead of going back to graphite, until you raise the temperature above the critical point again, of course.

    Metastable states are tricky that way.

    Sometimes the critical temperature is well *below* room temperature. Sometimes they are several thousand degrees Kelvin.

    Ya dinna knooo, till you try it laddee!

    They haven’t dropped the pressure yet. I assume they’ll try that first. They haven’t raised the temperature yet.

    They may be just a wee bit nervous!

  • Chris

    Slightly off subject but related to hydrogen and cold … an interesting read
    Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold by Shachtman traces the quest to get as cold as it gets

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