Scientists just discovered a new state of water! – Part A
You’d think by now scientists would have learned everything there is to know about one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms, h2o. But we learn new things about water all the time.
Water is important for… well, every living thing on earth; it is part of every single cell in our bodies, and all plants and animals need water to survive. But despite its ubiquity, water is incredibly unique. It goes from solid to gas in a smaller temperature range than many other compounds. Plus, when you cool it down into ice, it expands and becomes less dense than its liquid form. That doesn’t happen with most other substances! You’d think by now, scientists would have already learned everything there is to know about this combination of one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms — h2o. But we learn new things about water all the time! For example, a study in the december 2016 proceedings of the national academy of sciences showed ice doesn’t melt the way you think it does. Instead of melting all at once, in a sort of continuous process, it goes layer by layer. . . The top layer is only 45 nanometers at its thickest, or 1/1000 the thickness of a human hair, and it stays liquid-like below 0 degrees celsius. . . Which is the reason ice is slippery! In fact, this new study showed that it’s liquid-like even at negative 38 degrees! That’s. . . Slick! And while this study might be pretty “cool,” another 2016 study from the international journal of nanotechnology could be even more awesome. It found that water might actually have two distinct liquid states. You probably know that all matter exists in one of five states — solid, liquid, gas, sometimes plasma, and very rarely bose-einstein condensate, where the atoms start to act like waves.