Besides vapor, ice and liquid, a fourth form of water may exist. Unlike the fictional ice-nine, which melted at 45.5 Celsius degrees, this new form of H2O likes it cold : about 47.7 C degrees below zero. Liquid water usually freezes into ice at 0 °C, but under the right conditions, like the high pressure at the bottom of the ocean, water stays liquid below 0 °C.
Water's fourth form, or phase, may be a liquid with some of the properties of both ice and regular liquid water. But laboratory equipment isn't sensitive enough to observe the rapid transformation from regular liquid water to the fourth form.
Researchers Pradeep Kumar and H. Eugene Stanley used a computer simulation to model the elusive liquid. They found that at about -47.7 °C, the local structure of water seems to become extremely ordered, like ice, while undergoing sharp but continuous structural changes and remaining liquid. Oddly, at this temperature the water also became more conductive of heat, the opposite of what happens with regular liquid water and ice, as anyone living in an igloo will tell you.
The strange behavior of water at low temperatures is what led Stanley and Kumar to believe that their results support the idea that water has a fourth phase. Eventhough an article written by Martin Chalpin says that :
"There are sixteen or so crystalline phases.....and three amorphous (non-crystalline) phases."
This means calling this phase the fourth phase of water, is wrong.
They are different crystal structures, but they do fit the Gibbs definition of phases. they are phases just as much as the ice, liquid water, and water vapor which exist at 'ordinary' temperatures and pressures. They obey the Gibbs phase rule, phase diagrams which include these solid phases may be found in physical chemistry texts, e.g. the classic 'Physical Chemistry' by Walter J. Moore.
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