Pure water made into a metal. Cool.
have now used x-rays to dissociate water at high pressure to form a solid mixture–an alloy–of molecular oxygen and molecular hydrogen. The work, by a multi-institutional team that includes Russell Hemley and Ho-kwang Mao of Carnegie’s Laboratory, appears in the October 27 issue of .
The researchers subjected a sample of water to extremely high pressures–about 170,000 times the pressure at sea level (17 Gigapascals)–using a anvil, and zapped it with high-energy x-rays. Under these conditions, nearly all the water molecules split apart and re-formed into a solid of O2 and H2. X-radiation proved to be the key to cleaving the O-H in water; without it, the water remained in a high-pressure form of ice known as ice VII–one of at least 15 such variants of ice that exist under high pressure and variable temperature conditions. – physorg
“The existence of this new alloy is very interesting but not hugely surprising,” says Sean McWhinnie, at the Royal Society of Chemistry in London, UK. “Given high enough pressures, even hydrogen will behave as a metal. All, the other heavier elements in hydrogen’s group of the periodic table are metals,” she points out. – newsci
This much pressure happens naturally at more than 300 miles beneath the Earth’s surface.