It’s not every day that scientists are able to create an entirely new substance, but Harvard researchers managed to do just that, and in the process created what could be a world-changing material with a bunch of different applications. It’s called atomic metallic hydrogen, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: hydrogen in the form of metal. If that sounds weird, it probably should, because it’s literally never existed on the planet before now.
So how to do you turn the most abundant element into something that’s never existed before, at least here on Earth? You squeeze it really really hard. In fact, in order to achieve the metallic bond the scientists had to apply over 71 million pounds-per-square-inch of pressure to a small amount of hydrogen. That’s more pressure than exists in the very core of the Earth itself, which is why they’re so confident that it’s a substance found nowhere else on our planet.
What’s particularly interesting about all of this is the various applications that metallic hydrogen could have. The researchers believe that it could function as a superconductor — a conductive material with zero resistance — at room temperature. Superconductive materials already exist, but often require specific temperature thresholds to achieve superconductivity. If metallic hydrogen is different, it could be used in everything from high-speed, maglev trains to smartphones, and would almost certainly become a prized commodity. That is, if further research and testing can reliably create it in quantities large enough to useful.
About Harvard :
Harvard was formed in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was initially called “New College” or “the college at New Towne”. In 1638, the college became home to British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, the college was renamed Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, who was an alumnus of the University of Cambridge. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.
Source: BGR News