The Newest Form of Water Is Hot and Black, Wait What?

It only took diamonds, x-rays, and a bunch of ultra-powerful lasers to create our newest form of water, Ice XVIII. And it might be the key to unlocking what’s inside the mysterious ice planets of our solar system.

This New State of Matter Is a Liquid and a Solid at the Same Time! –

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Nanosecond X-ray diffraction of shock-compressed superionic water ice…
“The atomic structure of dynamically compressed H2O is characterized in situ using angular dispersive XRD recorded on multiple image plate detector panels (Fig. 1b). Focusing 16 laser beams on an iron (Fe) foil generates an intense X-ray pulse at 6.7 keV resulting from helium (He)-like atomic transitions. About 2 × 1012 X-ray photons are collimated by the 500-µm-diameter tantalum (Ta) aperture placed immediately behind the target package ”

Black, Hot Ice May Be Nature’s Most Common Form of Water…
“This suggested superionic ice would conduct electricity, like a metal, with the hydrogens playing the usual role of electrons. Having these loose hydrogen atoms gushing around would also boost the ice’s disorder or entropy. In turn, that increase in entropy would make this ice much more stable than other kinds of ice crystals, causing its melting point to soaring upward.”

Experimental evidence for superionic water ice using shock compression…
“In stark contrast to common ice, Ih, water ice at planetary interior conditions has been predicted to become superionic with fast-diffusing (that is, liquid-like) hydrogen ions moving within a solid lattice of oxygen. Likely to constitute a large fraction of icy giant planets, this extraordinary phase has not been observed in the laboratory. Here, we report laser-driven shock-compression experiments on water ice VII.”

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