Harvard scientists claim to have cracked one of the "holy grails" of high-pressure physics by transforming hydrogen from gaseous state to metal, in a coup that could revolutionise technology allowing the creation of super-fast computers.
The Harvard University researchers formed the metal by squeezing hydrogen atoms at pressures greater than those at the centre of Earth. If the findings are confirmed, metallic hydrogen would be the rarest, and possibly, the most-valuable material on Earth.
Hydrogen metal could serve as an ultra-efficient superconductor for electricity transmission and distribution over very long distances, in addition to enabling the building of higher speed computer processors.
However, the researchers' claims have yet to be independently verified and some scientists have voiced scepticism about their findings.