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>> No.58669918 [View]
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58669918

>Squeezed between two pieces of diamond, hydrogen has been transformed into a metallic form believed to exist inside giant planets like Jupiter, scientists reported on Thursday.


>“You can see it becomes a lustrous, shiny material, which is what you expect for a metal,” said Isaac F. Silvera, a professor of physics at Harvard.

>If some theoretical predictions turn out to be true, the new state of hydrogen could even be a solid metal that is metastable — remaining solid even after the crushing pressure is removed — and a superconductor, able to conduct electricity without resistance, Dr. Silvera said.

>Dr. Silvera and Ranga P. Dias, a postdoctoral researcher, published the findings on Thursday in the journal Science.

>But in the small but contentious field of high-pressure physics, some scientists who perform similar experiments were harshly skeptical and wondered how the research passed peer review at a top journal like Science.

>“It’s — how should I put it? — the product of Ike’s imagination from the title to the end,” said Eugene Gregoryanz, a physicist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Paul Loubeyre, a physicist at France’s Atomic Energy Commission, wrote in an email, “The fact that the paper went through illustrates the fact that the reviewing process has some flaws.”

>Editors at Science declined to discuss the paper, but in a statement, Jeremy Berg, the editor in chief, said that submissions must pass rigorous review by experts and that only about 7 percent are published.

>Dr. Silvera defended his work. “If we did it again, we’d get the same result, I’m certain,” he said.

>Hydrogen is the lightest of elements; each atom consists only of one proton and one electron. In the ordinary conditions at Earth’s surface, where the weight of air presses at 14.7 pounds per square inch, hydrogen atoms pair up into simple molecules.



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