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Phase Diagram of Hydrogen and a Hydrogen-Helium Mixture at Planetary Conditions by Quantum Monte Carlo Simulations


Mazzola, Guglielmo; Helled, Ravit; Sorella, Sandro (2018). Phase Diagram of Hydrogen and a Hydrogen-Helium Mixture at Planetary Conditions by Quantum Monte Carlo Simulations. Physical Review Letters, 120(2):025701.

Abstract

Understanding planetary interiors is directly linked to our ability of simulating exotic quantum mechanical systems such as hydrogen (H) and hydrogen-helium (H-He) mixtures at high pressures and temperatures. Equation of state (EOS) tables based on density functional theory are commonly used by planetary scientists, although this method allows only for a qualitative description of the phase diagram. Here we report quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) molecular dynamics simulations of pure H and H-He mixture. We calculate the first QMC EOS at 6000 K for a H-He mixture of a protosolar composition, and show the crucial influence of He on the H metallization pressure. Our results can be used to calibrate other EOS calculations and are very timely given the accurate determination of Jupiter’s gravitational field from the NASA Juno mission and the effort to determine its structure.

Abstract

Understanding planetary interiors is directly linked to our ability of simulating exotic quantum mechanical systems such as hydrogen (H) and hydrogen-helium (H-He) mixtures at high pressures and temperatures. Equation of state (EOS) tables based on density functional theory are commonly used by planetary scientists, although this method allows only for a qualitative description of the phase diagram. Here we report quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) molecular dynamics simulations of pure H and H-He mixture. We calculate the first QMC EOS at 6000 K for a H-He mixture of a protosolar composition, and show the crucial influence of He on the H metallization pressure. Our results can be used to calibrate other EOS calculations and are very timely given the accurate determination of Jupiter’s gravitational field from the NASA Juno mission and the effort to determine its structure.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:12 January 2018
Deposited On:01 Mar 2019 14:38
Last Modified:17 Sep 2019 19:39
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN:0031-9007
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevlett.120.025701
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID200021_169054
  • : Project TitleSolar and Extrasolar Giant Planets: Formation, Evolution, and Internal Structure

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