This is quite the discovery.
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It certainly is if it "pans out" to be entirely true. You probably realize the diamond anvil that was used to make it "broke" and the metallic hydrogen has "disappeared". Theory suggests that metallic hydrogen is a room temperature superconductor and is "meta-stable" at room temperature. If both these "facts" are proven true, then this material could be the answer to our technical prayers. Of course if the hydrogen simply vanished by evaporating, then it is clearly not the answer to our prayers but a great disappointment. If somebody stole it by breaking into the anvil in the dead of night then I hope they get their just deserts. It amazes me that they just left it in the anvil and did not take it out and test it. The Science report said they had tested it's properties. The article in Science is here:myusersname wrote:This is quite the discovery.
Metallic hydrogen, once theory, becomes reality
To do that now they will need another diamond anvil. Otherwise the group will need to "prove" that what they were looking at is indeed the stable superconducting material with all the right properties. See:Observation of the Wigner-Huntington transition to metallic hydrogen
Ranga P. Dias and Isaac F. Silvera*
17 Feb 2017
Producing metallic hydrogen has been a great challenge in condensed matter physics. Metallic hydrogen may be a room-temperature superconductor and metastable
when the pressure is released and could have an important impact on energy and rocketry. We have studied solid molecular hydrogen under pressure at low temperatures. At a pressure of 495 gigapascals, hydrogen becomes metallic, with reflectivity as high as 0.91. We fit the reflectance using a Drude free-electron model to determine the plasma frequency of 32.5 ± 2.1 electron volts at a temperature of 5.5 kelvin, with a corresponding electron carrier density of 7.7 ± 1.1 × 10 23 particles per cubic centimeter, which is consistent with theoretical estimates of the atomic density. The properties are those of an atomic metal. We have produced the Wigner-Huntington dissociative transition to atomic metallic hydrogen in the laboratory.
Peoples reputations are riding on reproducing this result. Otherwise this will become the "Cold Fusion Farce" of 2017.... not that I disbelieve in Low Energy Nuclear Reactions mind you, I mean it has the opportunity to "decisively" ruin reputations.Only Sample of Metallic Hydrogen in the World Lost in Harvard Lab Accident - Breitbart - 24 Feb 2017
The only sample of metallic hydrogen, an incredibly rare metal that was first created by Harvard scientists in January, has been lost in a laboratory accident. Unfortunately, one of the two diamonds used to hold the tiny piece of metal in a vice-like grip was obliterated while the sample was being measured by a laser, and the sample was completely lost in the accident, according to The Independent.
Professor Isaac Silvera, the lead researcher on the Harvard project, was reported as saying that his “heart fell” when he realized the gravity of the situation. He first heard a small clicking noise as the laser traveled over the diamond, indicating its disintegration.
“I’ve never seen a diamond shatter like that. It was so powdered on the surface, it looked like baking soda or something like that,” the professor said. “I didn’t believe it was diamond, it was such a fine powder.”
Given that the sample had a diameter of around a fifth of the average human hair, it has been impossible to find after the incident. “The sample is in the wreckage some place, or it’s not meta-stable, and it disappeared, it turned into a gas,” Silvera said. “If it was meta-stable and if it could withstand the shock of a catastrophic failure, it would still be in the gasket.”
However, this has prompted some other scientists to speculate that the metallic hydrogen never existed at all. Writing in the scientific journal Nature, fellow physicists wondered if in fact Silvera had mistaken the reflective nature of the aluminum used to protect the diamonds from the hydrogen for a positive result. Silvera responded that there is “no doubt it is metallic… I’m completely confident of the measurements we have made.”
There is currently no information on when the Harvard scientists will attempt to produce metallic hydrogen again.
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