Amorphous water ice of the new kind

Newly discovered form of ice with a glass-like structure could solve the mystery of different water densities

Surprising discovery: If you cool ordinary water ice to minus 200 degrees and crush it, something completely new is created – a previously unknown form of amorphous ice, as researchers report in “Science”. This ice variant is not crystalline but glass-like and resembles the disordered structure of liquid water. Also exciting: This form of ice closes the density gap between two already known amorphous forms of ice – and also sheds a new light on liquid water.

Water is commonplace and yet mysterious. Because the H 2 O molecule has several characteristics. In addition to the density anomaly and the ability for self-dissociation , this also includes around 20 different variants of water ice. Its crystal lattice takes on a different structure depending on the pressure and temperature. The spectrum ranges from the normal hexagonal ice of the snow crystals to square and cuboid lattices to cage-like structures.


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