Washington, DC—In Earth’s interior, water (H2O) plays an important role in rock physics, but geoscientists rarely treat water in its constituent forms, that is as hydrogen plus oxygen. New work from a team led by the Geophysical Laboratory's Dave Mao has identified that hydrogen can escape from the water under conditions found in Earth’s lower mantle leading to a new paradigm in lower mantle chemistry. Their results were published in Proceeding of the National Academic Science, U.S.A.
Washington, DC— Although helium is the second most-abundant element (after hydrogen) in the universe, it doesn’t play well with others. It is a member of a family of seven elements called the noble gases, which are called that because of their chemical aloofness—they don’t easily form compounds with other elements. Helium, widely believed to be the most inert element, has no stable compounds under normal conditions.
Yingwei Fei, a high-pressure experimentalist at the Geophysical Laboratory, and Peter Driscoll, a theoretical geophysicist at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, have been awarded a Carnegie Science Venture Grant for their project “Direct Shock Compression of Pre-synthesized Mantle Mineral to Super-Earth Interior Conditions.”
Washington, DC— Phase transitions surround us—for instance, liquid water changes to ice when frozen and to steam when boiled. Now, researchers at the Geophysical Laboratory have discovered a new phenomenon of so-called metastability in a liquid phase. A metastable liquid is not quite stable. This state is common in supercooled liquids, which are liquids that cool below the freezing point without turning into a solid or a crystal.
Zhenxian Liu is beamline scientist at the Carnegie synchrotron infrared beamline U2A of the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Washington, DC—Germanium may not be a household name like silicon, its group-mate on the periodic table, but it has great potential for use in next-generation electronics and energy technology.
Of particular interest are forms of germanium that can be synthesized in the lab under extreme pressure conditions. However, one of the most-promising forms of germanium for practical applications, called ST12, has only been created in tiny sample sizes—too small to definitively confirm its properties.