Physicists Have Successfully Achieved Early Stages Of A New, Solid State Of Hydrogen

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Physicists from the UK have discovered the initial stages of a hydrogen phase called as Phase V for the first time ever in the lab. They exposed hydrogen molecules in a pressure that is 3 million times more than that of Earth’s atmospheric pressure. Research shows that it is a metallic form of hydrogen. This was also predicted in the early 1935 but it could not get much acceptance as it was not recreated in the laboratory. It is considered that this metallic form of hydrogen can conduct electricity without any electrical resistance. This hydrogen metal is found in Jupiter and Saturn in huge quantities.

The researcher Eugene Gregoryanz from theUniversity of Edinburgh says "The past 30 years of the high-pressure research came across with many assertions about the creation of metallic hydrogen in the laboratory, but all these were negated later. Our research demonstrates the first experimental verification that hydrogen could act as it was considered earlier, but at much higher pressure than it was supposed. The discovery will help to move forward in the fundamental and planetary sciences." Gregoryanz and his team used diamond anvils in a normal environment to exert an extreme pressure of over 380 GigaPascal to hydrogen molecules. 

To set it in interpretation, one Giga Pascal is equals to 10,000 Earth’s atmospheric pressure. And this is the highest pressure that’s ever been attained in lab by humans.

This unconvincing high pressure can alter the chemical bonds in the hydrogen molecules, and give rise to a new solid phase - Phase V. At this point of time, the molecules commence to split up into single atoms and their electrons start to act like that of metals instead of gases.

John Timmer describes that hydrogen generally occurs in molecular form having two atoms sharing their electrons. This bond keeps the electrons from circulating freely and defines the properties of molecules. These properties include the wavelengths of light it absorbs. Making a metal terminates that bond and hence changes the properties.

The team says at the time when they haven’t realized a fully metallic state of hydrogen, they’ve observed the early phases-the beginning of the predicted metallic hydrogen. 

This proposed that more high pressure is needed to attain pure metallic hydrogen, but diamond anvils might not be enough

Arthur Ruoff, a high-pressure physicist at Cornell University said "Hydrogen is the simplest atom, the simplest molecule, and it could be the most complex elemental solid".
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