What Is amorphous Ice?
Scientists have fashioned a previously unknown form of ice – one that might exist on our solar system’s icy moons.
- The 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.
- 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.
- Scientists have identified 20 different forms of crystalline ice and three forms of amorphous ice – one low density (discovered in the 1930s), one high density (discovered in the 1980s), and the new one in between.