There’s a New Form of Ice That We Need to Know About

There’s a New Form of Ice That We Need to Know About

Even if you haven’t been skipping the physics class, it’s good to know that there’s a new form of ice that was unveiled by scientists. Ice, in general, represents one of the three different states that water can be found in. The other two are liquid and gas. 

Of course, we’re sure that you already know these things. But returning to the topic that makes the subject of our article, scientists from the University of Nevada (Las Vegas) who were led by Zach Grande, a Ph.D. student, can now be proud about discovering a new form of ice that could even represent something common on other planets, according to

Let’s say hello to ‘Ice-X’

Ice-X is known as the new phase of ice that was discovered. How did scientists do it? They wanted to measure the properties that water has while being under high pressure. Opposite-facing diamonds were used to squeeze a water sample. Thus, the water got frozen into jumbled ice crystals. A technique for heating using a laser was further used for temporary melting. The structure re-formed itself into small crystals. Simple, right?

By raising the pressure of water ice and hitting it with a laser beam, it was discovered that the structure would achieve the Ice-X phase. Before this, the water ice was in the Ice-VII and Ice-VIIt phases. 

Ashkan Salamat, who is another scientist from the University of Nevada, explained as quotes:

Zach’s work has demonstrated that this transformation to an ionic state occurs at much, much lower pressures than ever thought before,

It’s the missing piece, and the most precise measurements ever on water at these conditions.

Finding the new phase of ice across the surface of Earth is unlikely, but the situation would drastically change if we analyze the mantle of our planet. That’s where the new Ice-X would be found, as well as on exoplanets that are rich in water.

The new study was published in Physical Review B.

Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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