Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Dense hydrogen in a new light

04.06.2013
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. The way it responds under extreme pressures and temperatures is crucial to our understanding of matter and the nature of hydrogen-rich planets.

New work from Carnegie scientists using intense infrared radiation shines new light on this fundamental material at extreme pressures and reveals the details of a surprising new form of solid hydrogen.

Under normal conditions hydrogen is a gas consisting of diatomic molecules. The hydrogen molecules start to change as the pressure increases. These different forms are called phases and hydrogen has three known solid ones. It has been speculated that at high pressures hydrogen even transforms to a metal, which means it conducts electricity. It could even become a superconductor or a superfluid that never freezes–a completely new and exotic state of matter.

In a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, a team from Carnegie's Geophysical Laboratory examined the structure, bonding and electronic properties of highly compressed hydrogen using intense infrared radiation.

Using a facility maintained by the Geophysical Laboratory at the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the team found the new form to be stable from about 2.2 million times normal atmospheric pressure and about 80 degrees Fahrenheit to at least 3.4 million times atmospheric pressure and about -100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Their experiments revealed that hydrogen takes a form under these conditions that differs remarkably from its other known structures. The new phase has two very different types of hydrogen molecules in its structure. One type of molecule interacts very weakly with its neighboring molecules--unusual for molecules under this type of very high compression. The other type of molecule bonds with its neighbors, forming surprising planar sheets.

The measurements also show that solid hydrogen under these conditions is on the borderline between a semiconductor, like silicon, and a semimetal, like graphite. The results disprove earlier claims that hydrogen forms a dense atomic metal at these pressures and temperatures.

"This simple element–with only one electron and one proton–continues to surprise us with its richness and complexity when it is subjected to high pressures," Russell Hemley, Director of the Geophysical Laboratory, said. "The results provide an important testing ground for fundamental theory."

This research was supported by the NSF. Facilities support was provided by DOE/BES, NSF, and DOE/NNSA.

The Carnegie Institution for Science is a private, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., with six research departments throughout the U.S. Since its founding in 1902, the Carnegie Institution has been a pioneering force in basic scientific research. Carnegie scientists are leaders in plant biology, developmental biology, astronomy, materials science, global ecology, and Earth and planetary science.

Russell Hemley | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.carnegiescience.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms
17.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht New functional principle to generate the „third harmonic“
16.02.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>