Evidence for new state of hydrogen: Discovery gives glimpse of conditions found on other planets

January 6, 2016, University of Edinburgh
An artistic representation of a hydrogen molecule under compression using opposed diamond anvil devices. The experimental work using micro-focused Raman spectroscopy explores the possibility of breaking the hydrogen molecule through means of room-temperature compression in an attempt to reach the long proposed metallic state of hydrogen. Credit: Philip Dalladay-Simpson and Eugene Gregoryanz

Scientists have recreated an elusive form of the material that makes up much of the giant planets in our solar system, and the sun.

Experiments have given a glimpse of a previously unseen form of that exists only at extremely high pressures - more than 3 million times that of Earth's atmosphere.

Hydrogen - which is among the most abundant elements in the Universe - is thought to be found in this high-pressure form in the interiors of Jupiter and Saturn.

Researchers around the world have been trying for years to create this form of the element, known as the , which is considered to be the holy grail of this field of physics. It is believed that this form of hydrogen makes up most of the interiors of Jupiter and Saturn.

The metallic and atomic form of hydrogen, formed at elevated pressures, was first theorised to exist 80 years ago. Scientists have tried to confirm this in lab experiments spanning the past four decades, without success. In this latest study from a team of physicists at the University of Edinburgh, researchers used a pair of diamonds to squeeze to record pressures, while analysing their behaviour.

Micro-focused Raman spectroscopy of Hydrogen using a diamond anvil cell to exert pressures in excess of 3.5 million atmospheres and resistively heated to a temperatures of 475 K. Credit: Philip Dalladay-Simpson and Eugene Gregoryanz

They found that at pressures equivalent to 3.25 million times that of Earth's atmosphere, hydrogen entered a new solid phase - named phase V - and started to show some interesting and unusual properties. Its molecules began to separate into single atoms, while the atoms' electrons began to behave like those of a metal.

The team says that the newly found phase is only the beginning of the molecular separation and that still higher pressures are needed to create the pure atomic and metallic state predicted by theory.

The study, published in Nature, was supported by a Leadership Fellowship from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

An artistic representation of a hydrogen molecule under compression using opposed diamond anvil devices. The experimental work explores the evolution of hydrogen from its ambient dielectric molecular state (transparent molecules) through to the onset of its proposed pressure-induced metallisation (metallic atoms). Credit: Philip Dalladay-Simpson and Eugene Gregoryanz

Professor Eugene Gregoryanz, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Physics and Astronomy, who led the research, said: "The past 30 years of the high-pressure research saw numerous claims of the creation of in the laboratory, but all these claims were later disproved. Our study presents the first experimental evidence that hydrogen could behave as predicted, although at much higher pressures than previously thought. The finding will help to advance the fundamental and planetary sciences."

Explore further: Creation of Jupiter interior, a step towards room temperature superconductivity

More information: Philip Dalladay-Simpson et al. Evidence for a new phase of dense hydrogen above 325 gigapascals, Nature (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nature16164

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32 comments

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yep
1.8 / 5 (8) Jan 07, 2016
Maybe some of you will open your minds a little more?
http://www.ptep-o...6-07.PDF
daqddyo
not rated yet Jan 07, 2016
Why do the diamonds required for this compression need the fancy (and expensive) faceting?
I know it is only an "artistic representation" but if I were one of the researchers involved, I would have told the "artist" about the actual surfaces of the diamonds used.
bschott
3 / 5 (6) Jan 07, 2016
They found that at pressures equivalent to 3.25 million times that of Earth's atmosphere, hydrogen entered a new solid phase - named phase V - and started to show some interesting and unusual properties. Its molecules began to separate into single atoms, while the atoms' electrons began to behave like those of a metal.


This is a contradictory statement. Metals do not form through any mechanism involving a loss of molecular cohesion unless it's the first step of the phase transition. They never made it past this step.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (8) Jan 07, 2016
Why do the diamonds required for this compression need the fancy (and expensive) faceting?

They don't. Illustrating non faceted diamonds in an artistic way is, however, a bit of a poser. i wish they'd just leave artistic representations out of it in such articles. They serve no purpose.

Metals do not form through any mechanism involving a loss of molecular cohesion

Reread the sentence you yo quoted (emphasis mine):
Its molecules began to separate into single atoms, while the atoms' ELECTRONS began to behave like those of a metal.


A metallic structure is a regular structure. And dissociation from the molecular state gives hydrogen atoms an additional degree in which they can form a symmetric (read: metallic) ordering.
swordsman
1 / 5 (1) Jan 07, 2016
A "hydrogen molecule"? Hydrogen is normally a gas. How did they create a "hydrogen molecule"? This IS possible to create a crystal under high pressure, but did they then give it even more pressure? Under such conditions, it is likely that some of the atoms would break up into electrons and protons. Apparently, they simply heated it further, thus causing some of the atoms to liberate electrons and protons.

Nice "glitzy" portrayal that shows evidence of artistic capability, but rather unrealistic.
bschott
3 / 5 (6) Jan 07, 2016
A metallic structure is a regular structure. And dissociation from the molecular state gives hydrogen atoms an additional degree in which they can form a symmetric (read: metallic) ordering.


They never made it to the step above...you just took them there. That is also what they did in the contradictory sentence I quoted.

An electron in single hydrogen atom "behaving like" an electron in a metal is much different than a metallic hydrogen lattice forming. This is why I mentioned not making it past the first step.

The atoms need to re-configure and combine to form the metallic state, they didn't.

antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (9) Jan 07, 2016
The atoms need to re-configure and combine to form the metallic state, they didn't.

And they never said they did. Do I really have to quote every line of every article on physorg for you or would you start bothering to read them before spamming the comment sections with insanely stupid posts?

From the article:
The team says that the newly found phase is only the beginning of the molecular separation and that still higher pressures are needed to create the pure atomic and metallic state predicted by theory.


I swear to god: if people would start reading what is actually written in the articles instead of imagining some stuff out of thin air half the comments on phys.org would cease to be.
bschott
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 07, 2016
I swear to god: if people would start reading what is actually written in the articles instead of imagining some stuff out of thin air half the comments on phys.org would cease to be


You need to follow your own advice and lose the mainstream bias you display when anyone disagrees or questions a statement from an article.

The atoms need to re-configure and combine to form the metallic state, they didn't.

And they never said they did.


As much as I would love to re-post the contradictory statement, I don't need to. It speaks for itself and you appear to be the one with reading comprehension issues here, and you were the one posting what constitutes a metallic state and implied they had reached it.

The elementary particles which combine to form Hydrogen are either bound in atomic form or H2 molecular form, or exist as charged particles which can be either a plasma or an electrical current. They will never form a "metallic" lattice, IMO.

my2cts
3 / 5 (6) Jan 07, 2016
Why do the diamonds required for this compression need the fancy (and expensive) faceting?
I know it is only an "artistic representation" but if I were one of the researchers involved, I would have told the "artist" about the actual surfaces of the diamonds used.

You foolishly chat without any knowledge, even though this knowledge is readily available.
"Made of high gem quality, flawless diamonds, usually with 16 facets. They typically weigh 1/8 to 1/3 carat (25 to 70 mg). "
https://en.wikipe...d_anvils
my2cts
3.3 / 5 (7) Jan 07, 2016
They found that at pressures equivalent to 3.25 million times that of Earth's atmosphere, hydrogen entered a new solid phase - named phase V - and started to show some interesting and unusual properties. Its molecules began to separate into single atoms, while the atoms' electrons began to behave like those of a metal.


This is a contradictory statement. Metals do not form through any mechanism involving a loss of molecular cohesion unless it's the first step of the phase transition. They never made it past this step.

No it is not. Molecular cohesion is not involved. Molecular dissociation and electron delocalisation, more likely.
my2cts
3.3 / 5 (7) Jan 07, 2016

A metallic structure is a regular structure.

That is not necessary. For example mercury is a liquid metal. All that is needed is electron delocalisation.
And dissociation from the molecular state gives hydrogen atoms an additional degree in which they can form a symmetric (read: metallic) ordering.

Dissociation is the first step towards delocalisation.
my2cts
3 / 5 (6) Jan 07, 2016
... That is also what they did in the contradictory sentence I quoted.

No contradictions.
An electron in single hydrogen atom "behaving like" an electron in a metal is much different than a metallic hydrogen lattice forming.

You can have a metal without a lattice.
The atoms need to re-configure and combine to form the metallic state, they didn't.

Atoms do not have to "combine to form the metallic state". The protons should be close enough for the conduction band to contain electrons. Note that the temperature is probably high, so that occurs even with a sizeable band gap.
my2cts
3 / 5 (6) Jan 07, 2016
The question keeps coming back.
Why are some obviously unskilled people foolishly criticising research ?
This is not even Cosmology or AGW.
Wait, viko is coming with his Holy Matrix !
bschott
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 07, 2016
Atoms do not have to "combine to form the metallic state". The protons should be close enough for the conduction band to contain electrons. Note that the temperature is probably high, so that occurs even with a sizeable band gap.


(Facepalm) Just when I thought you were learning to think...tsk tsk.

When Hydrogen, in any state, displays mobile electrons, you have an electric or plasma current....not a metal. What exactly is metallic hydrogen supposed to conduct there genius?

The question keeps coming back, do you have the ability to think?

my2cts
3 / 5 (6) Jan 07, 2016
Atoms do not have to "combine to form the metallic state". The protons should be close enough for the conduction band to contain electrons. Note that the temperature is probably high, so that occurs even with a sizeable band gap.


(Facepalm) Just when I thought you were learning to think...tsk tsk.

When Hydrogen, in any state, displays mobile electrons, you have an electric or plasma current....not a metal. What exactly is metallic hydrogen supposed to conduct there genius?

The question keeps coming back, do you have the ability to think?


A metal is defined as a condensed matter state with mobile electrons.
The hydrogen is conducting electrons, mainly.
You preposterous fool.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (8) Jan 08, 2016
You need to follow your own advice and lose the mainstream bias you display when anyone disagrees or questions a statement from an article.

I have no problem if someone disagrees. I have a problem when they don't bother understanding what the article says. Because you keep disagreeing with things that the article (and my post) don't say. You need to learn to read what is there - not to read what you THINK is there.

They will never form a "metallic" lattice, IMO.

Your opinion is wrong - as theory predicts they will and the experiment already shows first indications that the theory is correct. So unless you have something to base your opinion on besides "I think so"...meh.
my2cts
3.3 / 5 (7) Jan 08, 2016

They will never form a "metallic" lattice, IMO.

Your opinion is wrong

Indeed.
bschott
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 08, 2016
A metal is defined as a condensed matter state with mobile electrons.
The hydrogen is conducting electrons, mainly.
You preposterous fool.


Dumb----ass.

Electricity - "1.a form of energy resulting from the existence of charged particles (such as electrons or protons), either statically as an accumulation of charge or dynamically as a current."

Hydrogen is composed of the two components of electricity. When one of those components becomes mobile it is a current. By claiming hydrogen becomes metallic through dissociation of of the molecules into atoms with mobile electrons that conducts electrons you are claiming a plasma current is conducting an electrical current when they are both forms of an electrical current.

That AA has a PHD in EE and misses this is just sad. Nocents on the other hand misses pretty much everything so this is par for the course.

Now children, lets figure out how the lightest element in the universe exists in bulk at the core of a planet.

bschott
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 08, 2016
This is the real gut buster. Somehow (and I have no interest in who did it, how, or why it was done)
mainstream astrophysics has convinced it's devout that the rules for density sorting paused when our gas giants were forming and proceeded to place the lightest element in the universe "under" all the heavier ones, jack up the temperature to thousands of degrees due to "pressure" from the heavier elements "above" it, and asked science to prove it's theory correct.

Now I have to explain to 2 of the mindless devout who think this is correct why it isn't using grade school physics.

Your opinion is wrong


No, it's not. The theory is rediculous...clearly.

As a sidebar, I love this site because of the ratings people get just because of who they are engaging in a thread. It's like watching people clap for Kanye West.
TechnoCreed
5 / 5 (5) Jan 08, 2016
@daqddyo
Why do the diamonds required for this compression need the fancy (and expensive) faceting?
I know it is only an "artistic representation" but if I were one of the researchers involved, I would have told the "artist" about the actual surfaces of the diamonds used.

Diamond anvil cells are not rudimentary crushing tools; they are optical tools for scientific measurements. As such, they require higher precision cutting technique than ordinary gems.

Here is a link to a specialised manufacturer. Take the time to read it. It will give you a better appreciation of those instruments: http://www.techno...arch.htm
my2cts
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 08, 2016
A metal is defined as a condensed matter state with mobile electrons.
The hydrogen is conducting electrons, mainly.
You preposterous fool.

Hydrogen is composed of the two components of electricity.

Weird. You mean two oppositely charged particles. Let's unveil a secret: a proton and an electron.
When one of those components becomes mobile it is a current.

No. For that it has to move.
By claiming hydrogen becomes metallic through dissociation of of the molecules into atoms with mobile electrons that conducts electrons

I never claim blabbering nonsense.
you are claiming a plasma current is conducting electrical current when they are both forms of an electrical current.

I claim no such nonsense, that is your own specialty.
You are obsessed by plasma's. The topic is not plasma physics.
The topic is condensed matter physics.
You know so much less of physics than you think.
my2cts
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 08, 2016
This is the real gut buster. Somehow (and I have no interest in who did it, how, or why it was done)
mainstream astrophysics has convinced it's devout that the rules for density sorting paused when our gas giants were forming and proceeded to place the lightest element in the universe "under" all the heavier ones, jack up the temperature to thousands of degrees due to "pressure" from the heavier elements "above" it, and asked science to prove it's theory correct.

Now I have to explain to 2 of the mindless devout who think this is correct why it isn't using grade school physics.

Your opinion is wrong


No, it's not. The theory is rediculous...clearly.

As a sidebar, I love this site because of the ratings people get just because of who they are engaging in a thread. It's like watching people clap for Kanye West.

Yes you are wrong, but you do not know it.
Mind the difference.
my2cts
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 08, 2016
[Now children, lets figure out how the lightest element in the universe exists in bulk at the core of a planet.

Jupiter has a rocky icy core, then a layer of metallic hydrogen, on top of which molecular hydrogen, according to present planetary science.
my2cts
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 08, 2016
This is the real gut buster. Somehow (and I have no interest in who did it, how, or why it was done)
mainstream astrophysics has convinced it's devout that the rules for density sorting paused when our gas giants were forming and proceeded to place the lightest element in the universe "under" all the heavier ones, jack up the temperature to thousands of degrees due to "pressure" from the heavier elements "above" it, and asked science to prove it's theory correct.

That you don't understand physics does not imply that there is something wrong with it.
yep
1 / 5 (2) Jan 08, 2016
Maybe some of you will open your minds a little more?
http://www.ptep-o...6-07.PDF
Take a chance learn something instead of just having faith in dogma decided almost a century ago.
Vietvet
4.6 / 5 (9) Jan 09, 2016
Maybe some of you will open your minds a little more?
http://www.ptep-o...6-07.PDF
Take a chance learn something instead of just having faith in dogma decided almost a century ago.


About the author;
"he maintains that satellite measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation, believed by most astronomers to be an afterglow of the Big Bang, are actually observations of a glow from Earth's oceans. (Yes, presumably satellites millions of miles from Earth and pointed away from it that can see the CMB don't exist.) "

"Earth and pointed away from it that can see the CMB don't exist.) He also maintains that the sun is not a gaseous plasma, but is in fact made of liquid metallic hydrogen. None of his ideas have been accepted by any reputable physics publication."

Did great work on MRI but he is a crank.
http://rationalwi...bitaille
Vietvet
4.6 / 5 (9) Jan 09, 2016
Maybe some of you will open your minds a little more?
http://www.ptep-o...6-07.PDF


Did you happen to know the journal that published this tripe is a joke?
http://scholarlyo...m-arxiv/
my2cts
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 09, 2016
There should be a continuous transition between what is a very hot liquid and a dense plasma.
bschott
5 / 5 (3) Jan 12, 2016
When one of those components becomes mobile it is a current.
- Me

No. For that it has to move.
Nocents

Nuff said.
my2cts
2 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2016
Let me explain. After all, you are unfamiliar with elementary physics.
A metal contains mobile electrons. Does that imply a current? No.
A current requires a non-zero total electronic momentum in the rest frame of the metal.
my2cts
2 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2016
bschott since you like having fun over nicknames, is your nick somehow derived from "bullshit"? Letzebuergesch language perhaps ?
Or is this similarity a manifestation of karma, cosmic justice?
There is an indian crank expert on karma that posts here regularly, you should contact him.
my2cts
2 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2016
Wait your actual name is probably "Bill Schott" or something similar. They must have bullied you in school about this. I am just billschotting you !

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