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Name: Berndan R.
Status: student
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000


Question:
Why does hydrogen turn in to metallic hydrogen? Why doesn't it just become solid hydrogen?


Replies:
Berndon :

The term metallic refers to the type of bonding between individual atoms, and is characterized by a material which conducts electricity rather well. A material can have metallic properties as either a liquid or a solid. For example, mercury is a liquid at room temperature and pressure, yet it conducts electricity quite well. Copper, on the other hand, is a solid at room temperature and pressure and also conducts electricity very well. Both are metallic in this regard. If you put hydrogen under extremely high pressures, the atoms are forced to become close together, and due to the changes that this produces in electron energy states, it can be made "metallic". If memory serves me correctly, almost all elements, including hydrogen, can be compressed into a solid. Only helium cannot. This has to do with a phenomenon called zero-point-energy and van der Waals forces. A physicist can tell you more about this.

Jim Rubin



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