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Have scientists produced a speck of solid metallic hydrogen?

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.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

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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