Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Metallic Hydrogen

solo - 27-1-2017 at 04:34

Metallic hydrogen, once theory, becomes reality

Observation of the Wigner-Huntington transition to metallic hydrogen

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AngelEyes - 27-1-2017 at 07:49

Nice...fascinating stuff. But at the top it states this:

"The material - atomic metallic hydrogen - was created by Thomas D. Cabot Professor of the Natural Sciences Isaac Silvera and
post-doctoral fellow Ranga Dias"

...but then further down this:

"One prediction that's very important is metallic hydrogen is predicted to be meta-stable"

If they have created already it then surely that prediction can be tested?

Tsjerk - 27-1-2017 at 08:07

I can imagine the setup is designed in such a way the sample is "lost" as soon as you take the pressure of. Not that the sample evaporates perse, but that you will never get the sample back in focus so you won't be able to see it anymore.

Dan Vizine - 28-1-2017 at 12:47

This is far from settled. The authors seem to have been intoxicated with success, so much so that they published on the basis of 1 experiment! Cold fusion, anyone?

Bezaleel - 30-1-2017 at 05:36

Their closing remark in the authors' article in press says:
A looming challenge is to quench metallic hydrogen and if so study its temperature stability to see if there is a pathway for production in large quantities.

In other words, since the metallic state of hydrogen is (expected to be) meta stable, you will need to take off the pressure abruptly in order to freeze the metallic state. Obviously, their apparatus did not allow for such rapid pressure drops.

zed - 31-1-2017 at 14:17

Don't bad mouth "Cold Fusion". As an Army Physicist tersely related to me, "Something really is happening!"

[Edited on 31-1-2017 by zed]

Dan Vizine - 31-1-2017 at 14:37

It seems you may have a point, zed. Thanks.

j_sum1 - 31-1-2017 at 14:54

The report I read said there were some questions regarding the pressure measurement: disputes over its accuracy and suspicions that it could have been inflated. The apparatus only allowed for one pressure measurement to be made at the top end since the measuring process was destructive to the diamond anvil.

The resulting pressure estimations in the paper are ‘strange, if not incorrect’, according to Mikhail Eremets from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany. Dias and Silvera find that pressure changes in direct proportion to the force applied by turning the screws that crush the anvils together. That’s not what Eremets has observed in his own high pressure hydrogen research. The Harvard scientists extrapolate this relationship to get the 495GPa measurement, he explains, whereas if they’d used the more conventional pressure–force relationship they would get 590GPa. That stretches plausibility, he underlines. ‘They might be lucky,’ Eremets says. ‘They used good diamonds, maybe it helped. But we’ve done the same for three years at least. In our experience it’s impossible to reach such high pressures.’ He’s therefore ‘very surprised’ the paper was published.

Bezaleel - 3-2-2017 at 15:54

Quote: Originally posted by zed  
Don't bad mouth "Cold Fusion". As an Army Physicist tersely related to me, "Something really is happening!"

[Edited on 31-1-2017 by zed]

I'd be most happy to fully believe what this article claims, but as a starting point, I'd like to read it with the references...