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Scientists create a new form of matter—superionic water ice

Scientists created a new form of water—called superionic ice—that acts like a weird cross between a solid and a liquid, The New York Times reports. The substance, which consists of a fluid of hydrogen ions running through a lattice of oxygen, was formed by compressing water between two diamonds and then zapping it with a laser. That caused pressures to spike to more than a million times those of Earth’s atmosphere and temperatures to rise to thousands of degrees, conditions scientists had predicted may lead to the formation of superionic ice. This kind of water doesn’t exist naturally on Earth, the scientists report in Nature Physics, but it may be present in the mantles of icy planets like Neptune and Uranus.

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