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Harvard Physicists Say They’ve Turned Hydrogen Into a Metal

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Metallic Hydrogen
(Courtesy of Dr. Isaac F. Silvera)

 

Physicists from Harvard University say they’ve compressed hydrogen—sandwiched between two diamonds—into a metal, with the findings published in the journal Science. It’s been hypothesized that metallic hydrogen exists inside planets like Jupiter and Saturn.

Though it was only produced in a laboratory environment, the researchers did note that there is the chance that metallic hydrogen could exist outside of the lab and potentially be a superconductor with “an important impact on energy and rocketry,” according to the study.

However, per The New York Times, some scientists have called into question the contents of the paper, as well as how it passed muster with the scientific journal. Paul Loubeyre, a physicist at France’s Atomic Energy Commission, told the Times, “The fact that the paper went through illustrates the fact that the reviewing process has some flaws.”

Watch Harvard physicist Isaac Silvera describe his team’s findings in the video below.

For more on the groundbreaking experiment, read the Times‘ piece here. Read the physicists’ paper here.

—RealClearLife Staff