Ice construction VII. / © Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
And now scientists know why this is happening. A new study of a very unusual type of ice, also known as ice VII, showed how this ice can be formed at speeds of more than 1,000 miles per hour (1610 km / h) and how it can relate to others – the worlds of a extraterrestrial origin.
The natural type of this ice was discovered in March of this year. He was trapped in diamonds deep under the Earth. In the latter study, this type of ice has been thoroughly examined and it has been elucidated how it is formed. The process seems to be completely different from that of the usual freezing of water on ice.
Based on a mathematical model developed by researchers from Canada's Laborer Laboratory National Laboratory, there is a certain pressure limit, which causes the formation of ice VII with fast speed. This almost instantaneous process of transformation is called "homogeneous nucleation".
"This is a regime in which our perceptions of natural knowledge are tested," said one of the study's authors, physicist Alex Chernov.
Scientists have already found that ice VII can be formed at high temperatures and under intense pressure – about 100,000 times greater than normal atmospheric pressure. However, experiments have shown that under such conditions it is formed in a homogeneous (almost all the ice at a time) and heterogeneous (formation from the surface to the inside).
So far, such a thing means physicists are turning their heads and wondering: what's going on here? The new study shows that there is a specific reason why such a process occurs – that is, the temperature differences between liquid water and emerging ice crystals.
Individual structures of these types of ice or different ice stages differ in their own crystals. This has a decisive effect on the process of converting liquid water into solid ice. Scientists have been able to see that Ice VII ice is formed initially as a group of molecules and begins to expand within a body of water within a second.
Such a process depends in part on the fact that there is no point of heat at the moment of nucleation, the point at which the liquid becomes solid, and such a point exists under normal pressure and ice formation, as we know.
"There is no reason to slow down the heat-eradication process and the rate of ice formation depends on the very rapid molecular management process," Chernov said.
Now that we have a mathematical model that fits with experimental data, it can be applied to all other areas of research. The very existence of ice ice VII was theoretically described and created in the laboratory before being discovered naturally in diamonds.
An explanation of the new formation of ice VII at a molecular level can affect areas such as: data storage, material composition and many other areas.
Molecular ice precipitation on ice VII © Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
It can also benefit from looking for life forms on other planets. The existence of water is a basic index used to determine if other planets can have life forms. But if the water is pressed to turn into ice VII, then you will hardly expect to find any form of life.
"Water in the worlds of oceans bombarded by the ruins of other planets, such as meteorites or comets, is changing sharply, and life can not survive," said Jonathan Belof, senior chemist researcher.
This is another way to determine if there is life on the glacier planet and a fantastic example of how the boundaries of physics are still being pushed back.
The results of the study were published in the journal Physical Review Letters.