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Modelling of thermo-optical properties of hydrogen at extreme pressures.

Hydrogen is the simplest element in the universe. When it is at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, hydrogen takes the form of a gas. One can cool or pressurize this gas to turn it into a solid. Under these conditions, the solid hydrogen is an electrical insulator. However, nearly a century ago, it was predicted that putting a pressure of a quarter of a million times atmospheric pressure on solid hydrogen would turn it into a metal. This material was called metallic hydrogen, and physicists have been trying to create it ever since it was predicted to exist. Theoretical predictions also indicate that metallic hydrogen is a room-temperature superconductor, meaning that it can transport electricity without losses. Additionally, it would be a very powerful rocket fuel, and it would remain metallic even when the pressure is taken off. Recently, experiments by the Silvera research group at Harvard University indicate the first creation of metallic hydrogen in the lab. However, other research groups do not agree with this claim. In the proposed research, we attempt to theoretically model the experiment used by the Silvera research group to get a correct interpretation of their results. Furthermore, we will use this model and the experimental results to estimate material parameters of metallic hydrogen. Finally, we will theoretically develop an experiment that can measure whether the metallic hydrogen in the experiments is superconducting, as predicted by theory
Date:1 Oct 2018 →  31 Oct 2019
Disciplines:Classical physics, Elementary particle and high energy physics, Other physical sciences