Researchers prognosticated that a different state for the superionic ice exists and is possible to be present only on Neptune and Uranus in our Solar System but also in far-distant exoplanets. The new form of ice, named P21/c-SI, appears only at unimaginably high pressures characterizing the ice giant planets of our own Solar System, as well as, some of the exoplanets that have been discovered and studied.
Researchers created the trademarks of superionic ice which could be lead to its discovery on other planets
This important finding was made by the researchers from the Princeton University, who were granted access to the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) resources.
The scientists used the NERSC computer to operate analytical reproductions in order design different phases of superionic ice. Therefore, the researchers reproduced great pressures which were exceeding the greatest ones that could ever be obtained in lab experiments.
The reproductions predict particular features of the new ice phase and they can be applied as trademarks of superionic ice and can help astronomers who observe far-distant planets or our Solar System’s planets to see the presence of the superionic ice.
The superionic ice presents a greater ionic conductivity
Perhaps, the superionic ice is common on the Solar System’s planets and planet’s moons which are formed majorly from ice. However, the superionic ice is an unfamiliar variety of ice that forms only at unimaginably high pressures and at increased temperatures, as well.
The Princeton University’s science team conducted a thorough research on the various stages of the superionic ice, observing how the transformations of the superionic ice’s specific oxygen structure and how the hydrogen is moving in its liquid state.
Then, the researchers made different calculations and noticed that the ionic conductivity improves significantly during the phase in which the ice enters the superionic state under high pressure.
Also, the researchers from the Princeton University observed that the greater is the pressure, the lower is the temperature needed for the ice to turn into superionic ice.