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[BBC] - Metal undergoes novel transition under extreme pressure

post #1 of 16
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Quote:
Under extreme pressures and temperatures, one of the main metals of the Earth's interior has exhibited a never-before-seen transition.

Iron oxide was subjected to conditions similar to those at the depth where the Earth's innermost two layers meet.

At 1,650C and 690,000 times sea-level pressure, the metal changed the degree to which it conducted electricity.

But, as the team outlined in Physical Review Letters, the metal's structure was surprisingly unchanged.

The finding could have implications for our as-yet incomplete understanding of how the Earth's interior gives rise to the planet's magnetic field.

While many transitions are known in materials as they undergo nature's extraordinary pressures and temperatures, such changes in fundamental properties are most often accompanied by a change in structure.

These can be the ways that atoms are arranged in a crystal pattern, or even in the arrangement of subatomic particles that surround atomic nuclei.
304

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16265510
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post #2 of 16
I am honestly more interested in how they managed to put something under 690,000 atmospheres of pressure even though I should be more interested in the findings.
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post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm View Post

I am honestly more interested in how they managed to put something under 690,000 atmospheres of pressure even though I should be more interested in the findings.

clearly they stole capsule corps machine that helped train goku/vegetta smile.gif
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post #4 of 16
i think everyone needs one of those
post #5 of 16
Nah... they just set it on top of a Fermi card tongue.gif
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post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaXxJaPxX View Post

clearly they stole capsule corps machine that helped train goku/vegetta smile.gif

Seriously...

Standard air pressure is roughly 14.5 PSI...so this would have been under about 10million PSI. Unless I am drastically misunderstanding something.

Plus it was cooking at over 1600°C as well? I can't think of any material on earth that could withstand that. Could it have been done via explosive force? a big enough bomb could probably do that for a split a second and get some quick readings off it.
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post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm View Post

Seriously...
Standard air pressure is roughly 14.5 PSI...so this would have been under about 10million PSI. Unless I am drastically misunderstanding something.
Plus it was cooking at over 1600°C as well? I can't think of any material on earth that could withstand that. Could it have been done via explosive force? a big enough bomb could probably do that for a split a second and get some quick readings off it.

the only process i could think of that is easy to look up was artificial diamonds, which uses 5 GPa (Roughly 750000 psi) and 1500 c. and according to wiki its a cheap process. looks like the technology is pretty easy to obtain
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HPHT#High_pressure.2C_high_temperature

also found a nice GPa table just to put things in perspective
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders_of_magnitude_(pressure)

so on the generalized 10M psi, thats about 70 GPa.

theres my fun fact for the day, i feel smarter already smile.gif
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post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm View Post

Seriously...
Standard air pressure is roughly 14.5 PSI...so this would have been under about 10million PSI. Unless I am drastically misunderstanding something.
Plus it was cooking at over 1600°C as well? I can't think of any material on earth that could withstand that. Could it have been done via explosive force? a big enough bomb could probably do that for a split a second and get some quick readings off it.

Nothing so drastic as an explosion. These experiments are done on tiny samples, think < 20nm of total material (or just a couple hundred atoms). These tiny microscopic samples are then heated using lasers and high pressure chambers to reach the necessary temps and pressure.
https://www.gl.ciw.edu/static/users/yfei/page16/page16.html

When you're talking microscopic sizes, its actually very easy to reach even surface of sun types of temps or pressure. In fact, there are entire species of crabs and shrimp that hunt by snapping their claws so quickly, the sonoluminescence bubble they create reaches a temperature higher than the surface of the sun for a few microseconds.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantis_shrimp
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post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm View Post

Seriously...
Standard air pressure is roughly 14.5 PSI...so this would have been under about 10million PSI. Unless I am drastically misunderstanding something.
Plus it was cooking at over 1600°C as well? I can't think of any material on earth that could withstand that. Could it have been done via explosive force? a big enough bomb could probably do that for a split a second and get some quick readings off it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by banthracis View Post

Nothing so drastic as an explosion. These experiments are done on tiny samples, think < 20nm of total material (or just a couple hundred atoms). These tiny microscopic samples are then heated using lasers and high pressure chambers to reach the necessary temps and pressure.
https://www.gl.ciw.edu/static/users/yfei/page16/page16.html
When you're talking microscopic sizes, its actually very easy to reach even surface of sun types of temps or pressure. In fact, there are entire species of crabs and shrimp that hunt by snapping their claws so quickly, the sonoluminescence bubble they create reaches a temperature higher than the surface of the sun for a few microseconds.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantis_shrimp

I was just about to mention that, but I guess I was beaten to the punch! And I am guessing that they measure the conductivity via some sort of induction method, but what I'm curious about is how they know it's the same phase, other than using computer simulations?
    
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post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by guyladouche View Post

I was just about to mention that, but I guess I was beaten to the punch! And I am guessing that they measure the conductivity via some sort of induction method, but what I'm curious about is how they know it's the same phase, other than using computer simulations?

I believe its determined using spectrophotometry methods. Consistent diffraction of light through the sample would indicate a consistent phase, and based on previous experiments you know the diffraction pattern for the phase.

So just match the sample diffraction with past data. Not 100% sure on this one though.
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