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Quantum simulation of low-temperature metallic liquid hydrogen

Chen, J; Li, X-Z; Zhang, Q; Probert, MIJ; Pickard, CJ; Needs, RJ; Michaelides, A; (2013) Quantum simulation of low-temperature metallic liquid hydrogen. Nature communications , 4 , Article 2064. 10.1038/ncomms3064. Green open access

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Abstract

The melting temperature of solid hydrogen drops with pressure above ~65 GPa, suggesting that a liquid state might exist at low temperatures. It has also been suggested that this low-temperature liquid state might be non-molecular and metallic, although evidence for such behaviour is lacking. Here we report results for hydrogen at high pressures using ab initio methods, which include a description of the quantum motion of the protons. We determine the melting temperature as a function of pressure and find an atomic solid phase from 500 to 800 GPa, which melts at <200 K. Beyond this and up to 1,200 GPa, a metallic atomic liquid is stable at temperatures as low as 50 K. The quantum motion of the protons is critical to the low melting temperature reported, as simulations with classical nuclei lead to considerably higher melting temperatures of ~300 K across the entire pressure range considered.

Type: Article
Title: Quantum simulation of low-temperature metallic liquid hydrogen
Identifier: PM ID: 23807128
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3064
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms3064
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Keywords: Physical sciences, Fluids and plasma physics
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Physics and Astronomy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > London Centre for Nanotechnology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1381559
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