New Phase of Ice Might Exist

New Phase of Ice Might Exist

A new phase of ice may exist at high pressures and when temperatures are near absolute zero, between minus 452.5 and minus 369.7 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 50 Kelvin), according to researchers at the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center.

The team confirmed the density functional theory (DFT) calculations under these conditions which correctly account for the pre-edge feature of ice. However, quite unexpectedly they also obtained data indicating substantial spectral changes from ice IX, suggesting a significant change of the H2O framework in this P-T regime. In short, the exciting prospect of the formation of a possible new ice phase. (From Evidence suggests possible new phase of ice)

Science fiction readers have long been familiar with Kurt Vonnegut's fanciful version of ice-nine from his 1963 novel Cat's Cradle. In the novel, a Marine general wants a quick and easy solution to the problems posed by mud; a researcher finds a way to instantly crystalize the water in mud. Unfortunately, the fictional version of ice-nine did not stop with simply crystalizing the water in nearby mud; read more about what happens when ice-nine is used.

The original article was found here; if you are interested in unusual materials, take a look at graphene nanofabric just one molecule thick and diamondoids.

(This Science Fiction in the News story used with permission from - where science meets fiction.)

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Bill Christensen catalogues the inventions, technology and ideas of science fiction writers at his website, Technovelgy. He is a contributor to Live Science.