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

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Mazzola Guglielmo, Helled Ravit, Sorella Sandro,
Project Solar and Extrasolar Giant Planets: Formation, Evolution, and Internal Structure
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Physical Review Letters
Volume (Issue) 120(2)
Page(s) 025701 - 025701
Title of proceedings Physical Review Letters
DOI 10.1103/physrevlett.120.025701

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


nderstanding 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.