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There is an abundance of hydrogen in the universe, as it is a major component of many stars, including our sun, along with Saturn and Jupiter, two of our solar system's gas giants. A team of researchers from Osaka University and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have now created a new technology that can stabilize hydrogen at high temperatures and in high-pressure environments without it having chemical reactions with surrounding matter.

In their study, the researchers used a static high-pressure laser-heating experiment in a diamond anvil cell to examine and understand the transformation phase of hot dense fluid hydrogen. The results of their experiment showed inconsistency in the heating efficiency, which was associated with the phase transition from a diatomic to monoatomic fluid hydrogen (plasma phase transition) in the pressure range between 82 and 106 GPa (Pressure, internal pressure and stress).

The researchers found that there needs to be tighter constraints on the location of the hydrogen plasma phase transition boundary and suggested a higher critical point instead of what was predicted by the theoretical calculations. The plasma phase transition of high-temperature, high-density hydrogen fluid may be connected to an insulator-metal transition, which are transitions from a metal with good electrical conductivity of electric charges to an insulator.

The results of the study could lead to clarification of the internal structure and magnetic field of planets that are primarily made up of hydrogen gas, like Jupiter and Saturn. The clarification of the relation between temperature and pressure in hydrogen could lead to a synthesis of a solid metallic hydrogen, which can tolerate superconducting transition at high temperatures or even at room temperature.

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