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New claim staked for metallic hydrogen

Some experts doubt report of creating elusive material

2:00pm, January 26, 2017
hydrogen under pressure

TIGHT SQUEEZE  As scientists pressed hydrogen between two diamonds, it changed from transparent (left) to black (middle) and, finally, to a reflective state (right). That reflectivity indicates that the hydrogen transformed into a metal, researchers claim.

A team of scientists may have given hydrogen a squeeze strong enough to turn it into a metal. But critics vigorously dispute the claim.


Researchers from Harvard University report that under extremely high pressures hydrogen became reflective — one of the key properties of a metal. The feat required compressing hydrogen to 4.9 million times atmospheric pressure, the scientists report online January 26 in Science.


If correct, the result would be the culmination of a decades-long search for a material that could have unusual properties such as superconductivity — the ability to conduct electricity without resistance.


But physicist Eugene Gregoryanz of the University of Edinburgh, who works on similar experiments, decries the study’s publication as a failure of the journal’s review process. Given the evidence presented

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