Journal article Open Access

Metallization of fluid hydrogen at 140 GPa (1.4 Mbar) by shock compression

Nellis, W. J.; Weir, S. T.; Mitchell, A. C.

. Shock compression was used to produce the first observation of a metallic state of condensed hydrogen. The conditions of metallization are a pressure of 140 GPa (1.4 Mbar), 0.6 g/cm$$^3$$ (ninefold compression of initial liquid-H$$_2$$ density), and 3000 K. The relatively modest temperature generated by a reverberating shock wave produced the metallic state in a warm fluid at a lower pressure than expected previously for the crystallographically ordered solid at low temperatures. The relatively large sample diameter of 25 mm permitted measurement of electrical conductivity. The experimental technique and data analysis are described.

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