New Age Metallurgy?

Had occasion to read about something called "high spin metallurgy", and it
seemed to me that if there was anything to it, science would be trumpeting
about it. But I have to ask, because I might have missed something.
It seems there is a property of the noble metal group wherein at least some
of them can achieve an unusual state. As it was explained, the idea is
that the valence ring of electrons is ordinarily outside the sphere of some
nuclear force (hazy here...), but that in the extraordinary state, the
valence ring is brought into that sphere as well. The claimed properties
of this second state are remarkable, apparently starting with
superconductivity (although other claimed properties would seem to make
this impossible).
Now, it has been a very long time since I cracked a physics book, but I do
keep up as I can (take Science News weekly...). I have not heard anything
that even remotely relates to this business.
So far as I know, there are still only four fundamental forces, only two of
which extend beyond the limits of the nucleus itself, and those are fairly
well understood, so I thought. The other two forces would have no effect
on the orbiting electrons, as I understand it. Is there something else
going on here?
I'm well aware that particle physics is a highly volatile field, where
models do battle in the absence of very expensive lab work. I can well
imagine something of this sort turning out to be the case, but apparently
this notion of a "high spin" has been around for some time. In that case,
I would expect to have heard something about it!
What, if anything, am I missing here?
Thanks all,
Bill Tallman

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William D. Tallman
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