The 'Way of Water': New form of ice opens new ways to understand water
Martin Chaplin, a specialist in water structure at London South Bank University, says it's like liquid water 'frozen in time', which proves a secret that could be very significant.
A new form of ice has emerged - it looks like powder, but acts like liquid water in property and structure; it doesn't have the ability to form naturally on Earth but it can in space and on the moon.
University College London and Cambridge University researchers cooled regular ice in a ball mill to the temperature of liquid helium, and then ground the ice into a powder. That ice resulted in an amorphous make-up like water, and shockingly with the same density as well.
Martin Chaplin, a specialist in water structure at London South Bank University, but not involved in the research, stated, "It might be liquid water frozen in time... It could be very important."
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The new form of ice, called medium-density amorphous ice (MDA), had its density and structure confirmed through the use of spectral methods and X-ray.
After heating the MDA ice, it was discovered that crystallization starts and releases a significant amount of energy, due to which, scientists claim that the heavy deposits of this ice on cold moons might be the reasons behind the natural tectonic processes.
Senior author of the study and University College London professor of physical and materials chemistry Christoph Salzmann, expressed, "We suspect it may exist in some of the ice moons of the solar system. The ball milling induces shear forces within the ice crystals as they collide with the steel balls,"
He further added "In the ice moons, tidal forces from the gas giants (Jupiter and Saturn) are at play and we expect them to induce similar shear forces in the moons' ice shells as during the ball milling,"