Diamond sandwich makes metallic hydrogen

Light Years

Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, is commonly found as a clear gas. But squish some hydrogen with an enormous amount of pressure and it will turn into a metal, according to researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany.

Chemists Mikhail Eremets and Ivan Troyan sandwiched hydrogen between two diamonds and compressed it while carefully monitoring the atoms with a set of lasers and electrodes. To apply the pressure, they used a diamond anvil, which is similar to the machines that crush coal with so much force that it turns into artificial diamonds.

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