Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pounding particles to create Neptune's water in the lab

22.07.2010
We know 'icy' Neptune is partially comprised of water molecules but until now we have had little means to test how water behaves in the extreme conditions that Neptune presents.

This is about to change as an international group of physicists draw up plans to use the new Facility for Antiprotons and Ion Research (FAIR) in Germany, which will be ready in 2015, to expose water molecules to heavy ion beams and thereby generate the same level of pressure on the water molecules that they experience within the very inhospitable core of Neptune.

The new plans being published in New Journal of Physics (co-owned by the Institute of Physics and German Physical Society) today, Thursday 22 July, explain how using high energy uranium beams in the future German facility is going to enable researchers to create conditions that push water molecules into a 'superionic' state and thereby observe water in conditions never before replicated.

The predicted 'superionic' state is an exotic hybrid phase of water composed of an oxygen lattice and a hydrogen liquid which under ambient conditions form stable H2O molecules in an ice lattice or in a liquid.

A total of 15 European, Russian and Chinese researchers from GSI Helmholzzentrun für Schwerionenforschung, Universität Rostock, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Universite Paris-Sud, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Chinese Academy of Science explain how the use of the new heavy ion beams can simulate pressures up to several million times greater than anything on the surface of the Earth.

The researchers suggest that research into this 'superionic' state could be of paramount importance for the understanding of the magnetic field of Neptune and Uranus, which are very different from that of the Earth's.

The researchers cite the past decade's progress in the technology of strongly bunched, well focused, high quality intense heavy ion beams as the enabling force for this experiment - such beams will be made available when construction of FAIR is complete.

The heavy ion beams, which will be generated by the new particle accelerator at FAIR, will have advantages over other methods of exposing particles to high pressure, such as high explosives, gas guns, lasers, or pulsed power, because they will be able to apply a more uniform and more targeted pressure on the water molecules.

The researchers write, "The FAIR accelerator facilities will provide very powerful high quality heavy ion beams with unprecedented intensities. Extensive theoretical work on beam matter heating over the past decade has shown that the ion beams that will be generated at FAIR will be a very unique and very efficient tool to study High Energy Density Particles in those regions of the parameter space that are not so easy to access with the traditional method."

The article will be permanently free to read from Thursday 22 July at http://iopscience.iop.org/1367-2630/12/7/073022

Joe Winters | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iop.org

Further reports about: Chinese herbs Neptune ion beam water molecule

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling
29.03.2017 | New Jersey Institute of Technology

nachricht NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts
28.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>