Liquid Metallic Hydrogen at Static Conditions
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AbstractThe search for dense hydrogen metallization is now almost eighty years old. Because of hydrogen’s fundamental significance as the benchmark system for most of the physical and chemical sciences as well as its astrophysical abundance, the problem has been dubbed as the holy grail of high-pressure physics. Despite a legion of experimental feats and a remarkable theoretical progress over the last century, the precise conditions, mechanism and nature of this metallization process remain elusive. This thesis reports the first production of metallic hydrogen in the liquid phase at bench-top experiments under static conditions and high temperatures. The nature of metallization and the mechanism of conduction are shown to be different than hitherto assumed. The electronic transport coefficients of this metallic fluid are revealed to be substantially higher than the only reported value in shockwave experiments. An isotope effect relating to deuterium dissociation under pressure is shown. The astrophysical implication of the work regarding our understanding of the dynamo action and thermal history models of giant planets are discussed.
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