Measurements of the Equation of State of Deuterium at the Fluid Insulator-Metal Transition

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Science  21 Aug 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5380, pp. 1178-1181
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5380.1178

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A high-intensity laser was used to shock-compress liquid deuterium to pressures from 22 to 340 gigapascals. In this regime deuterium is predicted to transform from an insulating molecular fluid to an atomic metallic fluid. Shock densities and pressures, determined by radiography, revealed an increase in compressibility near 100 gigapascals indicative of such a transition. Velocity interferometry measurements, obtained by reflecting a laser probe directly off the shock front in flight, demonstrated that deuterium shocked above 55 gigapascals has an electrical conductivity characteristic of a liquid metal and independently confirmed the radiography.

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