Intense tests show an elusive, complex form of a common element

Intense tests show an elusive, complex form of a common element

Scientists have reconstituted an elusive form of nitrogen by using a high-pressure diamond anvil to press tiny amounts of the element at half a million times the pressure of the Earth's atmosphere while heating it to about 500 ° C. Credit: University of Edinburgh

An unusually complex form of one of the most abundant chemical elements on Earth was first discovered in the laboratory.


The researchers created a crystallized version of nitrogen, which is the main constituent of air under normal conditions, exposing it to extreme pressures and temperatures.

The study shows for the first time that simple molecular elements can have complex structures at high pressures.

There might be similar studies in other elements, say researchers.

An international team of scientists, led by the University of Edinburgh, used a high-pressure diamond anvil to press tiny amounts of nitrogen at a pressure of half a million times that of the earth's atmosphere while being heated to about 500 ° C.

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