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Scientists were able to synthesize a unique “cosmic ice”

Ученым удалось синтезировать уникальный "космический лед" The existence of this substance was predicted more than 30 years ago.

Scientists from Lawrence Livermore National laboratory Lawrence has received and examined to some extent the properties of a completely new form of ice that consists of a solid crystal lattice of oxygen atoms around the nodes which revolve protons. The existence of such a form of ice, which is called superionic ice (superionic ice), it was predicted in theory over 30 years ago and, as expected, this type of ice exists in nature only in the nuclei of icy planets such as Uranus.

Water molecules are a large oxygen atom connected to two small hydrogen atoms so that the molecule resembles the letter V. When the water freezes, the molecules can form large crystal structures of a completely arbitrary shape, the configuration of which depends on temperature, pressure and other conditions under which crystallization occurred. The crystal lattice of ordinary ice, Ih, is composed of hexagonal structures formed by water molecules. There are other forms of ice such as cube ice and ice-9 (IX), which are rare, but are formed on the Land under certain conditions.

For superionic ice, scientists are squeezing the molecules of water by means of pressure generated between two diamond “anvils”. As a result, they received an ice-VII. Then, with the help of light pulses of a powerful laser, scientists have created within the ice VII shock waves, which created additional pressure millions of times higher than normal atmospheric pressure.The crystal structure of ice-VIIУвеличив strength and speed created shock waves and having received a new form of ice, located between the planes of the diamond anvils, scientists have measured some of the characteristics of this substance. At a temperature in the range from 2000 to 5000 Kelvin the ice continued to be a crystalline body, but he was able to conduct an electric current. It was proof that they were able to obtain a form of superionic ice in which the crystal lattice is composed of atoms of oxygen and protons, the nuclei of hydrogen atoms are able to move freely within the lattice.

The properties of superionic ice, suggests that “he can maintain stability under extreme conditions, which occur only in the Central parts of the cores of such planets, like Neptune or Uranus.” And now, knowing these characteristics, scientists can explain some unusual phenomena associated with magnetic fields of these planets.

“In addition to the ice cores of planets such as Neptune and Uranus, there is a sufficiently large amount of ammonia and methane,” says Jonathan Forty (Jonathan Fortney), a scientist from the University of California at Santa Cruz, “In the near future, we will try to find out whether there will be stable superionic ice in the presence of these substances and what happens to its properties in such a case. It is likely that such ice may exist under certain other circumstances we will be able to find him much closer than the Central part of the outer icy planets in the Solar system.”

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