Metallic Hydrogen Scientists Create the Rarest & most Valuable Material on the Planet

Published on Jan 28, 2017

Nearly a century after it was theorized, Harvard scientists have succeeded in creating the rarest - and potentially one of the most valuable - materials on the planet.

The material - atomic metallic hydrogen - was created by Thomas D. Cabot Professor of the Natural Sciences Isaac Silvera and post-doctoral fellow Ranga Dias. In addition to helping scientists answer fundamental questions about the nature of matter, the material is theorized to have a wide range of applications, including as a room-temperature superconductor. The creation of the rare material is described in a January 26 paper published in Science.
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Metallic hydrogen is a phase of hydrogen in which it acts as an electrical conductor. It was first theorized by physicists Eugene Wigner and Hillard Bell Huntington in 1935. They believed that under immense pressure, hydrogen atoms would display metallic properties, losing grip on their electrons.

Scientists at Harvard University have now said they have created these conditions – and metallic hydrogen – in the laboratory. Publishing their results in the journal Science
The team squeezed a hydrogen sample at at 495 gigapascal (GPa) – around 71.7 million pounds per square inch. To put that into perspective, that is more pressure than the centre of the Earth.

At this point, the solid molecular hydrogen breaks down and transform into atomic hydrogen – a metal. "This is the Holy Grail of high-pressure physics," said study author Isaac Silvera. "It's the first-ever sample of metallic hydrogen on Earth, so when you're looking at it, you're looking at something that's never existed before."

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Comment by Sojourner on January 29, 2017 at 8:19am

Always with the weapons and imagine what an "aid" to CERN.


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