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I am always reading in articles that "to do such and such, scientists had to put the substance under pressures higher than that of the centre of the earth" or something to that tune. They never explain how they actually do that. I have searched online briefly but couldn't find anything specific.

I was wondering if someone could explain to me the process, or at the very least link me to an article which does.

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  • $\begingroup$ sci-hub.bz/10.1126/science.aal1579 $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 0:27
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    $\begingroup$ @CountIblis something a bit more digestible? Not sure if it explains the mechanism of action either. Something like "lasers" isn't enough description for me. $\endgroup$
    – Varrick
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 0:30
  • $\begingroup$ This is not an answer to your question, but a lot of research in high-pressure physics is performed computationally precisely because of the difficulties in studying such conditions experimentally. $\endgroup$
    – lemon
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 0:35
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    $\begingroup$ It's the diamond anvil they mention. It's not all that different from how you put a nail in the wall using a hammer, the nail has a sharp point and when the force get's transferred the pressure has to increase because the tip of the nail has a very small cross sectional area. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 0:36
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    $\begingroup$ read Bridgman's Nobel Prize Lecture in which he describes how he performed his high pressure experiments nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1946/… $\endgroup$
    – hyportnex
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 1:15

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For pressures above 1 million atmospheres, there are currently just two methods of generating high pressures: (1) static compression with diamond anvil cells, and (2) "dynamic" (shock wave) compression using very high speed impactors (up to around 8 km/sec) launched by two-stage light-gas guns. Diamond anvil cells can reach pressures up to about 2 million atmospheres without too much trouble, and with considerably more effort and some luck, pressures of up to about 4 million atmospheres on occasion. Not too familiar with the latest shock-wave experiments, but laboratory experiments can reach well above 10 million atmospheres with very high speed impactors and with high-powered lasers.

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