Sign In


​Experimental observation of open structures in elemental magnesium at terapascal pressures

Dr. Sabri Elatresh, Department of Physics, KFUPM published a High-profile paper on Nature Physics

Sep. 19, 2022 |   Nature Physics

Dr. Sabri Elatresh (KFUPM) and his colleagues (M. G. Gorman, A. Lazicki, M. M. E. Cormier, S. Bonev, R. Briggs, A. L. Coleman, J. Bernier, F. Coppari, D. G. Braun, D. E. Fratanduono, R. F. Smith, J.H. Eggert (LLIN), R. Hoffmann (Cornell), M. I. McMahon (Edinburgh), D. McGonegle, J. S. Wark (Oxford), S. D. Rothman, L. Peacock (AWE), J. R. Rygg, (Rochester) published a high-profile paper ( in the prestigious Nature Physics journal in Sep 2022.

In this work, the authors carried out an experimental study, supported by ab initio simulations for magnesium at high pressure. This subject is very interesting, both for the high-pressure community, but also for the condensed matter community in general. Studying how solid matter behaves at high pressures, such as those found in the deep interiors of large planets, is a great experimental challenge. The experimental platform used, namely the coupling of an X-ray diffraction diagnostic with the NIF compression lasers, is the only platform that allows you to probe the structure of solid materials compressed at pressures close to the TPa.  The rarity of our experimental data is why it is of great interest to the high-pressure community. In particular, our findings show that experimental could catch up with DFT calculations that are used to simulate these extreme conditions of the Warm Dense Matter regime. The authors found that magnesium changes its crystal structure several times, with non-close-packed phases emerging at the highest pressures. We demonstrate that phase transformations of extremely condensed matter, previously only accessible through theoretical calculations, can now be experimentally explored.


The KFUPM-Cornell-LLNN- Edinburgh- Oxford- Rochester collaborative paper featured on Nature Physics journal.

Since the beginning of Sabri's physics career, he had a dream that one day he would publish a paper in the Nature journal. At the 2017 APS meeting in New Orleans, Sabri posed next to a Nature Physics poster in the Exhibit Hall, not even realizing that he was only a few years away from achieving that dream. It may seem like just a picture, but it represented a goal that Sabri was dedicated to achieving. Now, five years later, after countless hours of tireless work and commitment, Sabri's dream has become a reality.

Dr. Sabri Elatresh received his Ph.D. degree in Physics in 2015 from the Department of Physics & Atmospheric Science at Dalhousie University in Canada. Then he worked as a postdoctoral/visiting scientist at the University of Guelph & Cornell University, working alongside Professors Roald Hoffmann (1981 Nobel Prize Winner) and Neil W. Ashcroft (co-author of Solid-State Physics). In Jan 2021, Dr. Sabri Elatresh joined the physics department at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals as an assistant professor. His current research interests include focusing on the study of materials at high pressure, which covers a broad range of topics in theoretical condensed matter physics. Dr. Sabri Elatresh has expertise with various first-principles techniques and methods for computational modeling, which he has applied to investigate electronic, structural, and thermodynamic properties of solids and liquids. These are methods applicable to a wide range of problems in physics, chemistry, and material science.

22 Nov 2022