Scientists at Edinburgh University Very close in making of Metallic Hydrogen

Scientists at Edinburgh University Very close in making of Metallic Hydrogen

You must have heard of the properties of the most abundant element in its most elusive form in this universe, Metallic hydrogen. With a hope that the mysterious element may be present on the surface of Jupiter, the US Space agency has gone so far to send a probe to the planet. But, now a team of physicists from the University of Edinburgh believe that the curious material can be made in laboratory. In the study published to the Journal Nature, physicists said that an experiment has brought the researchers just a step away from metallic hydrogen. The best property of the metallic hydrogen is that it is the only superconductor that can conduct electricity without resistance at room temperature. Metallic hydrogen also has the potential to be remarkably stable. Though it is created under extreme pressure, it does not require such pressure to maintain its form.

Ross Howie, a co-author of the letter, said that they have reached a state of the material that is probably the precursor of the metallic hydrogen. He said that there exist very strong similarities between the material that they created in the laboratory with the properties of the metallic hydrogen. They believe that if they gained success sin creating the metallic hydrogen that then it could result in an awesome future on Earth. Physicists have been puzzling over how to forge the element into a superconducting metal since it was first theorized 81 years ago.

Creating metallic hydrogen could have significant implications in crafting lightweight materials for floating ocean cities and replacing liquid hydrogen in rocket fuel, effectively quadrupling the propellant and thrust of our most modern fliers. From past four years, Howie and his co-authors are conducting their experiment using a diamond anvil cell. By applying ‘brute force’ on a large lever to the backs of two diamonds, the twin tips, and compresses the infinitesimal hydrogen. The pressure put on the element sample is 3.2 million to 3.8 million times higher than Earth's atmosphere at sea level, the pressure in which the hydrogen appears to be part-molecular and part-atomic. According to researchers, nudging the pressure up could result in the formation of metallic hydrogen.

According to the Nature, the microscopic sample sizes provided by diamond anvil cells and the proclivity of high-pressure experiments to come with errors are the main limitation of the experiment. Professor Eugene Gregoryanz, lead researcher, said the latest study shows the first experimental evidence that hydrogen could behave as predicted.