BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Although the most common element in the Universe, hydrogen can rarely be found in metallic form but now metallic hydrogen can be created using diamonds.
Scientists have been doing research about the element for a long time now and thinking they can find it on Jupiter the space agency went on investigating the planet’s surface looking for the metal.
However, wouldn’t it be a lot easier if we had it here, on Earth? The solution is not to try and excavate other planets in search of metallic hydrogen, but rather produced it in an ‘earthly’ lab. And fortunately, a team of scientists at the University of Edinburgh claim to have found a way to do it.
Although they are not quite there yet, after several laboratory experiments, they believe they have reached the pre-final state of the material, the next being hopefully the metallic hydrogen in its pure form. The present form is very similar to what scientists theoretically know about the element.
How exactly did they manage to produce metallic hydrogen? They used diamond anvil cell. Brute force was applied to a large lever that made the twin tips of two diamonds meet and compress the hydrogen. The pressure put on the element was about 3.5 million times higher than the pressure the atmosphere has at sea level.
At this pressure the hydrogen becomes both molecular an atomic and rising the pressure a bit could have as a result the creation of metallic hydrogen. However, physicists are not so sure that diamonds are strong enough to resist the pressure.
Why would researchers go at such lengths to produce metallic hydrogen? According to studies, metallic hydrogen could be the only superconductor of electricity. By superconductor they mean that electricity would be conducted with no resistance at room temperature and no heat would occur.
Superconducting at a normal temperature has been tried with other materials but without success. Therefore, succeeding in creating metallic hydrogen could really revolutionize the way things work and are powered on our planet.
The element has to be created under extreme pressure but after that it can maintain its form, being very stable. Moreover it is also very light so we could imagine floating ocean cities in the future, as buildings could be made out of this light material.
All in all, if we do succeed in creating metallic hydrogen, we could turn Earth’s future completely around in a good way. However, we’re still a long way to go as experiments are still ongoing and the samples are microscopic.
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