A new form of water has now been created by scientists, Superionic Water Ice, which is a mix of solid and liquid states. This new form of water was created by compressing water between two diamonds and passing a laser through it. This resulted in pressures spiking up a million times more than it naturally exists in the atmosphere of the earth and the temperatures shot up by thousands of degrees.
Superionic Water Ice does not naturally exist on the surface of the earth. However, it is expected to be present in the mantles of icy planets such as Neptune and Uranus. It is a form of matter which can shift between different configurations. There have been various theories about the existence of superionic water ice for about 30 years. However, this is the first time this was actually created.
The reason for this solid-but-also-liquid state of matter of the Superionic Water Ice is the fact that it is formed because of high pressures and high temperatures. The high temperature causes the chemical bonds between hydrogen and oxygen atoms to melt, while the pressure causes the oxygen atoms fixed in a crystal formation but the hydrogen ions flow through as a liquid.
“It’s as though the water ice is partially molten,” said Raymond Jeanloz, a professor of earth and planetary science at the University of California. While conducting this experiments, scientists used a pressure of 360,000 pounds per square inch, which is 25,000 times more than the pressure that exists naturally in the earth’s atmosphere.
This is a first for science and quite an achievement. More such experiments can help us decipher what is happening in far-off planets where such high pressure and high-temperature conditions have water exist naturally as Superionic Water Ice. Stay tuned with The Geek Herald for more updates from the world of science and technology!