Laser experiment points towards weird in between ice

Laser experiment points towards weird in between ice that suggests a form of ice which is present between a solid and a liquid. However, a new study bolsters the case that the uncanny state of matter really subsists. Clues of the exceptional phase called superionic ice materialized in water ice revealed to high pressures and temperatures. But this kind of ice is not found naturally on Earth. It might conceal deep inside frozen worlds like Uranus and Neptune.

Standard ice is made up of water molecules that consist of one oxygen atom attached with two hydrogen atom, as water freezes the molecules bond together to form a solid. However, superionic ice consists of ions which are atom with a positive or negative electric charge. In the material, hydrogen ions proceed freely through a rigid crystal of oxygen ions.

Study’s coauthor Marius Millot, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California said that the water behavior is weird. Superionic state had been announced 30 years back but till today we are in dark as far as the existence of this state of water is concerned. At exceedingly high pressures, accustomed matters like water can act weird.

Examining a sample of ice that was crumpled between the two diamonds in water can act in a weird way. Millot and colleagues utilized a laser to generate a shock wave that furrowed through the ice, enhancing the pressure even more. Initially the density of the ice was uplifted smoothly, as the pressure mounted. But at around 1.9 million times atmospheric pressure and 4,800 kelvins (about 4,500° Celsius), the scientists noted a jump in the density and temperature. That jump is the superionic ice melted at that point.