Infinite chains of hydrogen atoms have surprising properties, including a metallic phase

Monday, September 14, 2020 - 12:10 in Physics & Chemistry

An infinite chain of hydrogen atoms is just about the simplest bulk material imaginable -- a never-ending single-file line of protons surrounded by electrons. Yet a new computational study combining cutting-edge methods finds that the material boasts remarkable quantum properties, including the chain transforming from a magnetic insulator into a metal. The computational methods used in the study present a significant step toward custom-designing materials with sought-after properties, such as high-temperature superconductivity.

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