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Is it possible to make metallic hydrogen?

  1. Mar 30, 2012 #1
    I'm wondering if it is possible to make metallic hydrogen. Metallic hydrogen would be a good thing to have because hydrogen is an excellent fuel source, and since it is; under STP, a gas, having it be in a metallic form would be a great way to carry lots of hydrogen, only with less volume in transportation. The way I see it, it would improve efficiency as a fuel/propellant. I was thinking that since the melting point and the freezing point of a substance are essentially equivalent, it might be possible to make hydrogen gas into a metallic form by lowering the temperature of hydrogen gas to its melting point (-259.14°C). If this theory has any flaws in it, please tell me about them.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2012 #2
    I've heard that inside some of the gas planets in our solar system, the pressure is so incredibly high that Hydrogen assumes an unheard of state. That state being "Metallic" Hydrogen, so to answer the question, it is indeed possible. However it requires the pressure of Jupiter. XD
  4. Mar 30, 2012 #3


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    Freezing hydrogen you will get just a solid hydrogen, not a metallic hydrogen (different crystalline structure and different properties). As far as I know so far nobody made a solid, stable metallic hydrogen, and not because of lack of experiments designed to do so - it is just extremely difficult (if at all possible).
  5. Mar 30, 2012 #4
    sure you can; put it under hundreds of GPa would do the trick.
  6. Mar 30, 2012 #5
    That was the point Borek was making (I suspect) - people have put hydrogen under hundreds of GPa, and no one has yet been able to clearly demonstrate that they've produced solid, stable metallic hydrogen. There was a recent claim just last year from a European group that they did so, but there was some controversy about their experimental setup.

    I recall a group from Lawrence Livermore (or possibly another DoE lab) had observed metallic fluid hydrogen back in the mid-1990s, but my memory is foggy on the details of that experiment.
  7. Mar 31, 2012 #6


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