May, 2022 - By SMI
An experiment that involved applying high pressure to water and melting it with a laser gave rise to a novel yet strange form of ice that could be found on distant watery planets
Ice is just like any other material that can form various solid materials depending on pressure conditions and changing temperature such as carbon forming graphite or diamonds under high pressure. Now researchers at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) discovered a new form of ice during an experiment involving exposing water to high pressure and melting it with a laser that could be found in mantle of the Earth or on some distant planet with water.
The ice used in regular life in drinks or other purposes can be found with different crystal structures, which appear when the water or ice is subjected to various combinations of pressure and temperatures. The scientists in this new study developed a novel technique for measuring the properties of water subjected to high pressure. The team placed the water in a diamond anvil cell, where it is squeezed in two diamond plates, which further changes the arrangement of hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Then the team melted the ice formed in the plates with lasers where the ice turns into crystal powder before it refreezes again into a different form.
During this projected the team experimented with different pressures and found a whole new form of ice. The cubic structure called as ice VII turned into a new phase having symmetrical tetragonal crystals at 5.1 GigaPascals pressure. The team named this new phase as ice VIIt and then it settled in a phase known as ice X. According to the team, the ice VIIt could be found on other planets or it could be common in mantle of the Earth.
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