A metal that behaves like water

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by Plazma Inferno!, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    In a new paper published in Science, researchers at the Harvard and Raytheon BBN Technology have advanced our understanding of graphene's basic properties, observing for the first time electrons in a metal behaving like a fluid. This research could lead to novel thermoelectric devices as well as provide a model system to explore exotic phenomena like black holes and high-energy plasmas.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160211185926.htm
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    The content of this article does not remotely support the title. The researchers seem to be observing electron flow in graphene, and apparently this flow resembles a flow of a macroscopic fluid. But the material (graphene) is neither a metal nor does it behave like water. It's a solid. And it's not a metal. It's the electrons that behave (a bit) like water.

    I'm not actually sure how a metal could possible behave like water. If you consider fluidity and vapour pressure then Hg comes close, but metals intrinsically have properties that water doesn't.

    It looks depressingly like just another journalist trying to make an esoteric finding seem exciting to the general public.
     
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  5. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    Agreed. Here is the original article: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2016/02/10/science.aad0343

    No mention of metal. Apparently the 'dumbing-down' article likens graphene to a metal. It is not. It is a single atom thick, extensive sheet-molecule of Carbon. Because the double-bonding in the Carbon molecule of graphene (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2016/02/10/science.aad0343) allows for 'loose-bonded' electrons (similar to a hexagonal ring of double-bonded carbons with hydrogen single-bonded having 'loose' electrons), these 'loose' electrons can be made to 'flow' with hydrodynamic similarity of water, as per the article. Since Carbon has sometimes been classified as 'between' metal and non-metals, some chemists liken it to a metal in some ways. Apparently, the author of the 'dumbed-down' article did this to attract attention to his article. (he succeeded!)
     
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  7. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    And I thought this would be about mimetic polyalloy.

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  8. ajanta Registered Senior Member

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    Me too..!
     
  9. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    When speaking with an astronomer, don't be surprize if he refers to "metalic stars." An element from carbon on up (higher atomic number) is a metal to an astronomer. I'm not sure, but think the sun, which formed from gasses that were in earlier stars, is a metalic star. Also in the strange terminology of astronomers, the sun is a "first generation star" even though is was formed long after millions of other stars were shinning or even had lived their full life and died.
     
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Do you mean that, to an astronomer, lithium and beryllium are NOT metals?!

    I always understood that, to an astronomer, everything apart from hydrogen and helium was a metal. Including all the p block elements and therefore including the noble gases!
     
  11. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    I googled it an you are correct.* I was working from memory as I usually do.

    * Except for He, which I think is a noble gas, but as I don't know what you mean by "p block" you may have excluded He from the Noble gases.
     
  12. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Yes I should have said all the noble gases except for He.

    P block refers to the block on the right hand side of the Periodic Table, in which the elements have incomplete p-subshells in the valence shell. So for example the top row of the p block starts with B and ends with Ne. We often speak of the s-block (alkali and alkaline earth metals), the p-block (where all the non-metals are), the d-block (transition metals) and f-block (rare earth elements, a.k.a.lanthanides and actinides).
     

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