Insulator-to-Conducting Transition in Dense Fluid Helium

P. M. Celliers, P. Loubeyre, J. H. Eggert, S. Brygoo, R. S. Mcwilliams, D. G. Hicks, T. R. Boehly, R. Jeanloz, G. W. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

By combining diamond-anvil-cell and laser-driven shock wave techniques, we produced dense He samples up to 1.5  g/cm3 at temperatures reaching 60 kK. Optical measurements of reflectivity and temperature show that electronic conduction in He at these conditions is temperature-activated (semiconducting). A fit to the data suggests that the mobility gap closes with increasing density, and that hot dense He becomes metallic above ∼1.9  g/cm3. These data provide a benchmark to test models that describe He ionization at conditions found in astrophysical objects, such as cold white dwarf atmospheres.
Original languageEnglish
Article number184503
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2010


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