A group of scientists around the world has been trying to prove that the element hydrogen can acquire properties to become a metal. However, they have not come up with an acceptable way to do it without destroying any equipment. Scientists have been trying to turn the lightest of all elements into solid metal.
What is Hydrogen?
Hydrogen is a chemical element that is represented by an H in the periodic table having an atomic number of 1. It is considered the lightest periodic element with a standard atomic weight of 1.008. One of the most common elements in the world, it consumes 75% of the mass of the entire universe with just one electron and one proton.
Hydrogen is naturally gaseous in state at room temperature. It is an air-like fluid substance that expands without restraint to fill any space available even though this element produces a water-like content when it is burned. That substance became one of the materials in making fuel. Hydrogen is not a fuel or source of energy on its own. Relatively, when it burns, hydrogen reacts with the oxygen in the air to produce heat. This heat is then used for power.
How did it happen?
As reported in the Science journal, a group of scientists at Harvard University has at long last succeeded in creating a small amount of what is the most valuable, and possibly the rarest, material on Earth. It is considered as a stunning act of modern-day alchemy.
Ranga Dias and Isaac Silvera are the two physicists who claimed that they had finally turned hydrogen into metal. Such a feat would potentially develop technology and has been hailed as one of the significant breakthroughs in history.
Professor Isaac Silvera said: “It’s the first-ever sample of metallic hydrogen on Earth, so when you’re looking at it, you’re looking at something that’s never existed before.”
The metallic hydrogen is considered a superconductor. It could conduct electricity or transport electrons from one atom to another without any resistance because electricity loses energy when it travels in conventional circuits in the form of heat. Hence, it has become an issue of sending electrical currents over long distances compared to shorter ones. However, if it travels through a superconducting material, the loss of energy is nearly zero.
According to Science magazine, there is also a possibility the metallic hydrogen can be metastable. Meaning, even at average temperatures and pressure levels its metallic properties will be preserved once formed. This characteristic allows 100 percent efficiency rate in conducting electricity in normal conditions. Through this, it can considerably reduce the costs of transferring electrical currents. Lower prices mean more powerful and efficient electric motors and a far more efficient electrical grid will be made.
Like any other researchers, this claim has its critics. There are some experts said that the two scientists, Ranga Dias and Isaac Silvera, might have mistaken something else for the significant metal. It is still an on-going inquisition upon the considered achievement of the two. If this discovery is real, then, we are revolutionizing technology. If not, yet it is a step closer to it.