Amorphous ice – With frigid innovation, scientists make a new form of ice

Source: The post is based on the article “With frigid innovation, scientists make a new form of ice” published in Indian Express on 6th February 2023.

What is the News?

Scientists have created a new type of ice called “medium-density amorphous ice”.

What is Amorphous Ice?

Amorphous ice consists of water molecules arranged in a disordered state, with no large-scale regularity to their orientations or positions. This kind of ice is most often found in space.

Almost all ice in the universe is amorphous and in a form called low-density amorphous ice. This forms when water condenses onto dust grains in space. Comets are amorphous ice as well.

How is Amorphous Ice different from Ordinary Ice?

Ordinary ice is crystalline in nature, with water molecules – two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, or H2O – arranged in a regular pattern. Amorphous ice’s water molecules are in a disorganized form resembling a liquid.

HAmorphous ice – With frigid innovation, scientists make a new form of ics medium-density amorphous ice created?

Researchers employed a process called ball milling to vigorously shake ordinary ice together with steel balls in a container cooled to minus-328 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-200 degrees Celsius).

This yielded what they called “medium-density amorphous ice,” or MDA, which looked like a fine white powder.

Significance of this discovery: The key significance of the discovery of a new form of ice with a density similar to liquid water is that it could serve as an ideal model for understanding the properties of water without the complexities introduced by its fluid motion.

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