Physicists May Have Created The First Metallic Hydrogen On Earth

Although significant doubts still plague the announcement of this achievement, two Harvard scientists now claim to have created the first metallic hydrogen on Earth, a metal which would revolutionize technology... if it can remain stable at room temperature...

Amy Sharpe
Created By Amy Sharpe
On Jan 27, 2017
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Recently, two Harvard scientists, Ranga Dias and Isaac Silvera, published a study in which they claimed to have created the first metallic hydrogen on Earth by crushing molecules of the gas between two diamonds using more pressure than is found at the center of the earth. If the findings of their experiment turn out to be accurate, and if the metal hydrogen remains stable once depressurized and exposed to room temperature, the implications could be overwhelming for science and technology, powering everything from more efficient circuits rockets that could explore distant planets with ease...

Isaac Silvera
It takes a tremendous amount of energy to make metallic hydrogen. And if you convert it back to molecular hydrogen, all that energy is released, so it would make it the most powerful rocket propellant known to man, and could revolutionize rocketry.
Isaac Silvera, The Independent, January 27, 2017
www.physics.harvard.edu

Nonetheless, many scientists remain skeptical of the discovery. The metallic hydrogen, first and foremost, has not been removed from between the diamonds that formed it yet. Silvera and Dias claim to have wanted to publish findings as soon as possible, and therefore did not wait to attempt depressurization before publishing. But this creates a second concern for many. The "shiny" substance between the diamonds may not be metallic hydrogen at all. In fact it is likely to just be aluminum oxide, which is known to coat the anvil diamonds used and become shiny under pressure. Nonetheless, we can hold out hope for this breakthrough.

This is the holy grail of high-pressure physics. 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.
This is the holy grail of high-pressure physics. 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.
Dr. Ranga Dias, The Independent, January 27, 2017
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So, now, what we want to know is...

static.independent.co.uk

Do you think Drs. Dias and Silvera created the Earth's first metallic hydrogen?

Any other thoughts? Talk to us about them in the comments below, and share with your friends to see what they think!