Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Probing hydrogen under extreme conditions

Date:
April 13, 2012
Source:
Carnegie Institution
Summary:
How hydrogen -- the most abundant element in the cosmos -- responds to extremes of pressure and temperature is one of the major challenges in modern physical science. Moreover, knowledge gleaned from experiments using hydrogen as a testing ground on the nature of chemical bonding can fundamentally expand our understanding of matter. New work has enabled researchers to examine hydrogen under pressures never before possible.

How hydrogen--the most abundant element in the cosmos--responds to extremes of pressure and temperature is one of the major challenges in modern physical science. Moreover, knowledge gleaned from experiments using hydrogen as a testing ground on the nature of chemical bonding can fundamentally expand our understanding of matter. New work from Carnegie scientists has enabled researchers to examine hydrogen under pressures never before possible.

Their work is published online in Physical Review Letters.

To explore hydrogen in this new domain, the scientists developed new techniques to contain hydrogen at pressures of nearly 3 million times normal atmospheric pressure (300 Gigapascals) and to probe its bonding and electronic properties with infrared radiation. They used a facility that Carnegie manages and operates at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) at Brookhaven National Laboratory in partnership with NSLS. Observing hydrogen's behavior under very high pressures has been a great challenge for researchers, because it is in a gas state under normal conditions. It is known that it has three solid molecular phases. But the structures and properties of highest-pressure phases are unknown.

For example, a transition to a phase that occurs at about 1.5 million times atmospheric pressure (150 Gigapascals) and at low temperatures has been of particular interest. But there have been technological hurdles in examining hydrogen at much higher pressures using static compression techniques. It has been speculated that under at high pressures, hydrogen transforms to a metal, which means it conducts electricity. It could even become a superconductor or a superfluid that never freezes--a completely new and exotic state of matter. In this new work, the research team, which included Carnegie's Chang-sheng Zha, Zhenxian Liu, and Russell Hemley, developed new techniques to measure hydrogen samples at pressures above 3 million times normal atmospheric pressure (above 300 Gigapascals) and at temperatures ranging from -438 degrees Fahrenheit (12 Kelvin) to close to room temperature..

"These new static compression techniques have opened a window on the behavior of hydrogen at never-before-reached static pressures and temperatures," said Hemley, director of the Geophysical Laboratory. The team found that the molecular state was stable to remarkably high pressures, confirming extraordinary stability of the chemical bond between the atoms. Their work disproves the interpretations of experiments by other researchers reported last year indicating a metallic state under these conditions. Evidence for semimetallic behavior in the dense molecular phase was found in the new study, but the material must have electrical conductivity well below that of a full metal.

Meanwhile, in another paper also published in Physical Review Letters, a team from the University of Edinburgh and including Carnegie's Alexander Goncharov report evidence for another phase of molecular hydrogen. They found it at the relatively high temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit (300 Kelvin) and under pressures above 220 Gigapascals. They suggest that the structure of hydrogen in this new phase is a honeycomb made of six-atom rings, similar to the carbon structure of graphene.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Chang-Sheng Zha, Zhenxian Liu, Russell Hemley. Synchrotron Infrared Measurements of Dense Hydrogen to 360GPa. Physical Review Letters, 2012; 108 (14) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.146402

Cite This Page:

Carnegie Institution. "Probing hydrogen under extreme conditions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120413101343.htm>.
Carnegie Institution. (2012, April 13). Probing hydrogen under extreme conditions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120413101343.htm
Carnegie Institution. "Probing hydrogen under extreme conditions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120413101343.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins