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 Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect
24.05.2017 | Vienna University of Technology

nachricht Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect
24.05.2017 | University of Cologne

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 quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>