Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory used a process called neutron scattering to help them create a super-cold state of water. The type of water was only previously found elsewhere in outer space. This will lead researchers to better understand all the various forms of ice. The types of crystalline ice phases they created are called ice IX, ice XV, and ice VII. They are three of the 17 phases of ice that are possible to create.

Key Takeaways:

  • Findings from researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have challenged the long-held notion that amorphous ice (which lacks an ordered crystalline structure) is related to liquid water.
  • The researchers had set out to explore the structure of amorphous ice, but ended up creating a series of crystalline transformations through four phases of ice.
  • These results should help scientists better understand ice and its various phases as found in the universe outside of Earth.

“Their findings challenge accepted theories and could lead to better understanding of ice found on other planets, moons and elsewhere in space.”

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