Physics got a precursor phase of metallic hydrogen

Physicists at the University of Edinburgh has received a new phase ultra-high pressure hydrogen, "phase-V". According to scientists, there is a weakening of the hydrogen-hydrogen and, perhaps, it is a transient state to a phase of metallic hydrogen. There is a transition at a pressure of 3.25 million atmospheres, such pressure, presumably, exist in the center of the Earth. A study published in the journal Nature.

The authors used to achieve these pressures the diamond anvil, which is between the two diamonds were placed, hydrogen gas, and then gradually squeezed up to pressures of 3.8 million atmospheres. Due to the transparency of the material of the anvil, the compressed material was available for study by optical methods — Raman spectroscopy. This method allows to determine the vibrational characteristics of the molecules and, in particular, to obtain information about its chemical bonds.


Physics looked like changing the appearance of the spectrum of Raman scattering depending on the applied pressure. It turned out that at pressures above 325 gigapascal begins to lose the intensity of one of the peaks of the spectrum is the evidence that changing the electronic structure of the hydrogen molecule. A new phase, scientists have assigned a number "V".

According to the authors, the observation suggests that this condition is the weakening of the hydrogen-hydrogen and the transition from the molecular structure of the substance to the metal. For a more detailed description of phase-V requires further experiments at high pressures. In particular, the authors hope to define the boundaries of existence of phases, and also establish a link between the new state of hydrogen and its metallization.

As a hypothetical metallic phase of hydrogen was predicted in 1935 and still has not been received, despite numerous reports of different research groups (which were subsequently refuted). It is believed that the destruction of the link in a substance occurs at pressures of about four million atmospheres. For metallic hydrogen scientists predict unusual properties — in particular, superconductivity and superfluidity simultaneously in the presence of an external magnetic field. It is interesting to note that the predicted critical temperature of the superconducting transition for the material — about minus 30ºC. published


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