Wyly Wade

The Weird New Solid That’s Actually A Liquid

Crystal Ball

Cool anything down enough, and it becomes a crystal solid, according to traditional physics theories. But that might not always be so, and two scientists think they have found cases where a liquid-like state is more stable than the solid crystal, in a reversal of the norm.

For the experiment, detailed in August 4th issue of the journal Nature Physics, the research duo used a computer simulation to create a liquid-that-is-not-a-liquid. Even though the experiment was done with virtual rather than real molecules, it offers an important insight into how crystals are made, the researchers said.”A colloid has particles small enough that thermal energy is important,” said lead author of the new study, Frank Smallenburg, a physicist at La Sapienza University in Rome.


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