Scientists from Harvard created for the first time on Earth metallic hydrogen, a new material on our planet that its existence was predicted before 80 years.
The Harvard researchers have been able to compress hydrogen molecules with synthetic diamonds, exerting enormous pressures of the 495 GPa (gigascapal), much higher than those carried out in the center of our planet and at a temperature just above the absolute zero, -270 οC, or 5,5 Kelvin or -450 degrees Fahrenheit.
As scientists increased the pressure, they began to observe the translucency hydrogen to become black. Finally, at 5 pressure millions of times our own air pressure, hydrogen gained reflection. Researchers showed this phenomenon as evidence that hydrogen atoms had acquired a normal 3D structure, such as a metallic object, thus obtaining a physical state that was first predicted by physicists Hillard Huntington and Eugene Wignerin 1935.
The discovery and observation of a metallic form of hydrogen will be important not only because it will solve a long-standing scientific mystery but also the possibilities of the material. The new material has virtually zero resistance to electricity, which is the best power line available on our planet. Scientists say in their work where published online in Science magazine yesterday, that metallic hydrogen will be "an important material for solving energy problems and may potentially revolutionize rocket technology as a powerful propellant".
In addition, such a material is metastable, which means it will remain metallic as the pressure that forced it to change form and gas becomes solid, goes down to normal levels. But switching from solid to gas again, through some other external influences, will release huge amounts of energy, revolutionizing missile technology.
It is believed that liquid metallic hydrogen is a basic component of the giant planets Zeus and Saturn, a theory the Juno spacecraft hopes to detect, according to NASA.
This is not the first time that scientists have claimed to have discovered metallic hydrogen. German scientists also made a similar statement to 2012, which proved untrue. That is why several physicists in different countries (USA, Britain, France), according to "Nature", said they were not convinced at all that metallic hydrogen was actually created and reserved until more experiments were made.