Russell J. Hemley

Russell J. Hemley

Research Professor
[email protected]

Professor Russell Hemley explores the nature of materials in extreme environments, specifically high pressures, and temperatures. The work includes high-pressure experimental and theoretical studies in chemistry and physics, earth and planetary science, soft matter and biology, and the creation of new materials for technology using extreme conditions. After three decades at the Geophysical Laboratory and the Carnegie Institution of Washington, he moved to George Washington University where he is a research professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  He is the director of the DOE/Carnegie Alliance Center (CDAC), a Center of Excellence funded by DOE/NNSA; the director of Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments (EFree), a DOE Energy Frontier Research Center, co-executive director of the A. P. Sloan Foundation-funded Deep Carbon Observatory; and chair of the JASON Advisory Group. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Member of the National Academy of Sciences, Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and Honoris Causa Professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences.



  • B.A., Wesleyan University, 1977
  • M.A., Harvard University, 1980
  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 1983


  • Lu, S., H. Liu, I. I. Naumov, S. Meng, Y. Li, J. S. Tse, B. Yang, and R. J. Hemley, Superconductivity in dense carbon-based materials, Phys. Rev. B 93, 104509 (2016).
  • Huang, Q. H., K. N. Tran, J. M. Rodgers, D. H. Bartlett, R. J. Hemley, and T. Ichiye, A molecular perspective on the limits of life: Enzymes under pressure, Condens. Matter Phys. 19, 22801 (2016).
  • Naumov, I. I. and R. J. Hemley, Origin of transition between metallic and insulating states in simple metals, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 156403 (2015).
  • Naumov, I. I., R. J. Hemley, R. Hoffmann, and N. W. Ashcroft, Chemical bonding in hydrogen and lithium under pressure, J. Chem. Phys. 143, 064702 (2015).
  • Somayazulu, M., P. Dera, J. Smith, and R. J. Hemley, Structure and stability of solid Xe(H2)n, J. Chem. Phys. 142, 104503 (2015).
  • Doherty, M. W., V. V. Struzhkin, D. A. Simpson, L. P. McGuinness, Y. Meng, A. Stacey, T. J. Karle, R. J. Hemley, N. B. Manson, L. C. L. Hollenberg, and S. Prawer, Electronic properties and metrology of the diamond NV- center under pressure, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 047601 (2014).
  • Naumov, I. I. and R. J. Hemley, Aromaticity, closed-shell effects, and metallization of hydrogen, Acc. Chem. Res. 47, 3551-3559 (2014).
  • Hemley, R. J., Carbon in Earth: Quantities, Movements, Forms, and Origins, Midterm Scientific Report of the Deep Carbon Observatory (A. P. Sloan Foundation, New York, 2014).
  • Zha, C. S., Z. Liu, M. Ahart, R. Boehler, and R. J. Hemley, High-pressure measurements of the solid phase IV of hydrogen using synchrotron infrared spectroscopy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 217402 (2013).
  • Naumov, I. I., R. E. Cohen, and R. J. Hemley, Graphene physics and insulator-metal transition in compressed hydrogen, Phys. Rev. B 88, 045125 (2013).
  • Liang, Q., Y. F. Meng, C. S. Yan, S. Krasnicki, J. Lai, K. W. Hemawan, H. Shu, D. Popov, T. Yu, W. Yang, H. K. Mao, and R. J. Hemley, Developments in synthesis, characterizations, and applications of large, high-quality CVD single crystal diamond, J. Superhard Mater. 35, 195-213 (2013).
  • Guthrie, M., R. Boehler, C. A. Tulk, A. M. dos Santos, J. J. Molaison, K. Li, and R. J. Hemley, Neutron diffraction observations of interstitial protons in dense ice, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 110, 10552-10556 (2013).
  • Cohen, R. E., I. Naumov, and R. J. Hemley, Optical evidence and mechanism of hydrogen metallization, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 110, 13757-13762 (2013).


  • Marker Lecturer, Pennsylvania State University, 2016
  • Pimentel Lecturer, University of California – Berkeley, 2014
  • Bridgman Award, International Association for the Advancement of High Pressure Science and Technology, 2009
  • Honoris Causa Professor for Energetics, Mechanics, Machinery, and Control Systems, Russian Academy of Sciences, 2008
  • Corresponding Fellow, Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2008
  • Balzan Prize in Mineral Physics, 2005
  • Hillebrand Medal, American Chemical Society, 2003
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences, 2001
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1997
  • Fellow, American Geophysical Union, 1997
  • Fellow, American Physical Society, 1996
  • Alan Berman Research Publication Award, Dept. of the Navy, 1996
  • Fellow, Mineralogical Society of America, 1990
  • Mineralogical Society of America Award, 1990
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1977

Professional Positions

  • 2016-: Visiting Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • 2016-: Visiting Scientist, Geophysical Laboratory
  • 2014-: Director, Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments (EFree), an DOE Energy Frontier Research Center
  • 2014-: Chair, JASON Advisory Group
  • 2013-: Co-Executive Director, Deep Carbon Observatory
  • 2009-: Co-Principal Investigator, Deep Carbon Observatory
  • 2007-2013: Director, Geophysical Laboratory
  • 2003-: Director, Carnegie/DOE Alliance Center (CDAC)
  • 2003-: Member, JASON Advisory Group
  • 1987-2016: Senior Staff Scientist, Geophysical Laboratory
  • 1996, 1999: Visiting Professor, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Lyon, France
  • 1991: Visiting Professor, Johns Hopkins University