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金属氢为何是高压物理的圣杯 – 译学馆
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金属氢为何是高压物理的圣杯

Why Metallic Hydrogen Is the Holy Grail of High Pressure Physics

氢是宇宙中最丰富的元素
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe,
因为一个质子和一个电子
thanks to it being simply one proton
简单的配对就能组成氢
paired with one electron.
在地球上我们常看到它与氧气结合形成水
Here on Earth we usually see it bound to oxygen to form water,
还有少量氢原子
and very rarely hydrogen atoms
组合成氢气存在于我们的大气层中
pair up and exist as a gas in our atmosphere.
但理论上 在理想环境下
But theoretically in the right conditions
氢本身可以作为液态金属
hydrogen alone can act as a liquid metal,
对氢深入了解后可以解答一些
and learning more about it could answer some mysteries
关于太阳系中行星的谜团
about planets in our solar system.
根据木星和火星的密度 我们知道
We know Jupiter and Saturn are mostly Hydrogen based
其中大多是氢 这就是为什么
on their densities, which is why they’re
它们被叫作气体巨人
called the gas giants.
但是它们并没有
But they’re not puffy clouds all the way down
像它的名字一样是蓬松的云
as the name might suggest.
只有最外层是气体
Only the thin outermost layer is gaseous.
在这种压力下 氢气被压缩
Under that, the pressure compresses the hydrogen
变成液态 再深一层
into a liquid state, and further down still
氢具有了金属性质
the hydrogen takes on metallic properties.
周期表中的大多数元素是金属
Most elements in the periodic table are metals.
它们的典型特征是相互间自由地传递电子
Their defining characteristic is they pass electrons freely amongst each other,

like
共享的电子池
a shared pool of electrons.
这使得它成为电和热良好的导体
This makes them good conductors of heat andelectricity.
正常情况下 我们在地球上看到的氢不具备
Normally the Hydrogen we see on Earth doesn’t behave
金属性质 但在木星气态表层
like a metal, but at about 13,000 km
大约13,000km以下的位置 就不同了
below Jupiter’s gaseous surface, thingsare different.
像一个代课老师 有足够压力那些氢分子便会爆炸
Like a substitute teacher, with enough pressurethose hydrogen molecules snap.
事实上 氢原子完全解离成自由电子和质子
In fact the hydrogen atoms dissociate entirely into free electrons and protons.
木星内部的压力赋予它一种金属的特性:这些电子可以自由流动
The pressure inside Jupiter gives it the propertiesof a metal: those electrons can flow freely
从质子到质子 使氢导电
from proton to proton, making the hydrogenconductive.
我们认为这种金属氢可以解释
We think this metallic hydrogen could account
木星和火星周围的磁场
for the magnetic fields surrounding Jupiter
而不是像地球内部一样的熔融铁芯
and Saturn, instead of a molten iron corelike inside Earth.
但是为了更好地理解金属氢 我们必须制造它
But to understand metallic hydrogen better we have to make it,
这不是容易的任务
and that’s no easy task.
这不像我们可以从木星深处
It’s not like we can scoop some
舀一些起来 相反我们必须以某种方式
up from deep inside Jupiter, instead we have to recreate
在地球上重建这些条件
those conditions somehow here on Earth.
我很高兴告诉你有一种先进方法 利用巨型激光器
I am very happy to report that one leading method involves giant lasers.
激光器 总共168个
The lasers, all 168 of them,
被用来发送冲击波以穿透冷冻的
are used to send shock waves through a sample of ultracool
液态氘样品 它是氢与一个中子的同位素
liquid deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen withone neutron.
这些波将氘压缩到
The waves compress the deuterium to
地球大气压力的600万倍
six million times earth’s atmospheric pressure while
同时将样品保持在1700摄氏度以下
keeping the sample below 1,700 degrees celsius,
或者物理学家说的“冷”
or what physicists call “ cool. ”
至少他们认为这是那种冷
At least they think it’s that cool,
因为测量冲击波浪内部的温度
because measuring the temperature inside the shock
是不可能的 只能通过计算机模拟来推断的
wave isn’t possible and instead is inferredthrough computer simulations. Still,
但是科学家们推断出
the scientists concluded liquid
氘在地球大气压力的200万倍时
deuterium becomes metallic at 2 million times the pressure
变成金属
of Earth’s atmosphere.
这与另一实验室的发现相矛盾
That contradicts another lab’s findings
这个转变发生在大约300万倍
that the transition happens at around 3 million
大气压力下
atmospheres of pressure.
两个实验室都礼貌而专业地说
Each lab politely and professionally says
另一个实验室温度预估值肯定是错误的
the other one must have incorrect temperature estimates,
他们自己的结果才是真实准确的
and that their own results are the true and correct ones.
这是最接近真人秀的科学家
That’s about the closest scientists get
我也是以此为生
to reality show drama and I for one am living for it!
关于2017年哈佛大学
There’s been even more drama
制造金属氢的实验中还有很多
around a 2017 Harvard experiment’s attempt at making metallic
充满戏剧性的事
hydrogen.
像钳子一样使用两颗钻石的尖端
Using the tips of two diamonds like a vise,
科学家声称他们用将近490万个大气压
scientists claimed they crushed a hydrogen
粉碎了氢样品 直到它不只是金属
sample to nearly 4.9 million atmospheres until it wasn’t just metallic,
同时也是液体
but solid as well,
全世界首个
a world first.
他们准备把它送到另一个实验室研究
They were going to send it to another lab for study,
但是你不知道的是
but wouldn’t you know it, just
就在装运之前 他们决定检查一下压力
before shipping it they decided to check the pressure
用激光再测量一次
with a laser one more time for good measure,
然后 钻石碎成了粉
and the diamonds shattered to dust.
样品丢失了
The sample was lost.
这导致其他科学家推测这种情况实际上并没有发生 但是
This has lead other scientists to speculate that it didn’t actually… happen. Still,
哈佛科学家认为
the Harvard scientists think the lost
丢失的氢气可能仍处于固态
hydrogen could still be in a solid state,
即使压力升高了
even with the pressure lifted.
它可能成为一种室温超导体 它将彻底改变材料科学
It might even be a room temperature superconductor, which would revolutionize materials science.
但是在一堆钻石粉尘中找到
But finding the 10 micrometer wide sample in a pile
10微米宽的样品几乎不可能
of diamond dust is next to impossible.
有趣
Darn. Funny,
我们历尽这么多麻烦来制造一粒金属氢
we go through all this trouble to create a speck of metallic hydrogen,
但由于
but thanks to
土星和木星巨大的尺寸
Jupiter and Saturn’s vast sizes it
所有星球上 金属氢才是
’ s the most common form of hydrogen among all of
最常见的形式
our planets.
有时候生活在地球上有缺点
Sometimes there are drawbacks to living onEarth.
当你在这里订阅更多视频
While you’re here subscribe for more videos,
比如这个关于木星如何成为
like this one about how Jupiter could be the
地球上生命的原因的视频
reason for life on Earth.
一些科学家不相信
Some scientists don’t believe
哈佛实验制造出液态金属氢 因为
the Harvard experiment made solid metallic hydrogen because
在足够高的压力下 氢气可以直接扩散穿过钻石
at a high enough pressure the hydrogen can diffuse right through the diamond!
感谢收看 我们下期探索者节目再见
Thanks for watching, I’ll see you next timeon Seeker!

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