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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