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Nickel melts at a temperature higher than copper or zinc but much lower than metals like iron or tungsten. This high melting point is an advantage for alloys like Monel which are used in equipment for handling fluorine gas and corrosive fluorides. It is also a benefit for nickel-titanium alloys which have shape retention properties that can be exploited to provide, among other things, earthquake shock absorbers to help protect stone buildings.

Nickel is also a component of several stainless steel alloys used in industrial and medical applications. In addition, it can be alloyed with many other metals to improve its corrosion resistance and mechanical strength. Chromium and molybdenum are commonly added to nickel to enhance its resistance to reducing acids such as sulfuric, phosphoric and hydrochloric acid.

The melting temperature of nickel is very difficult to measure under core pressures. This is because the atoms of a solid vibrate more rapidly as they are heated, and this increases their kinetic energy. Eventually the vibrations become strong enough to disrupt the interactions between neighboring atoms, which is what triggers the melting process.

To measure the melting temp of nickel at core pressures, I developed a new technique that relies on laser speckle measurements to detect changes in the shape of the sample. This method eliminates the need for crucibles and provides a very precise measurement of the temperature of the sample in liquid phase. I also use X-ray spectroscopy to determine the structure of the sample and to monitor chemical reactions that may change its state.

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