Following on from last week‘s discovery of water that can freeze at room temperature, here’s another trick. Water at minus 130 degrees Celsius can flow like a thick fluid. The work carried out by Ove Andersson, a physicist at Umeå University, showed that by increasing pressure to 10,000 times the norm, ice could be coaxed into a viscous liquid state 30% denser than normal water. The findings lend support to the theory that water has two liquid phases, one at much higher density than the other. I’d imagine it also means liquid water is likely to exist even on frozen planets.
As someone said last week: water is weird.

Link: Glass-liquid transition of water at high pressure


  1. #1 Remo
    June 28, 2011

    Very, very cool

  2. #2 Juice
    June 28, 2011

    I’ve got a friend who works on this sort of thing. Here’s his latest paper.

  3. #3 Zero
    June 28, 2011

    Could this be of use in freezing organs or would such high pressure necessarily damage living cells?

  4. #4 Frank the SciencePunk
    June 28, 2011

    @ Zero
    You mean for organ transplant? I don’t think so; as far as I know organs are never frozen, simply kept cold.

    Some animals that live in cold environments have blood that stays liquid at sub-zero temperatures, but this is done using natural antifreeze proteins.

  5. #5 Tenerife Property
    July 2, 2011

    Water is an amazing element but -130 degrees is not a natural temperature on the planet, neither is a pressure of 10k atmospheres. Not quite sure of the benefits for this planet but the right conditions could exist on other planets, the mind boggles. What could exist without it?

  6. #6 TP
    July 5, 2011

    This is obviously not a condition that would naturally occur but thew ramifications are for the development of materials, liquids etc that would also not occur naturally. The same can be said for research into material development in zero G where liquids do not act in the same way as they do in a 1G environment (mixing oil and water for example…)

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