Scientists at the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague have made a profound discovery that details the transformation from water into metal, even if it is only for just a brief moment in time.
Pavel Jungwirth, a physical chemist, and his colleague Phil Mason, recently published their findings that showcased the details of what happens when alkali metals are dissolved into ammonia. The experiment found that the process caused the liquid to turn into a bronze hue. Ammonia was later substituted by water, which was originally a risky demonstration since alkali metals typically explode when in contact with water.
In order to counteract the explosion, researchers had to determine a way to diffuse the electrons quicker than the reaction of water and metal coming together. To combat this, a syringe that was filled with a sodium and potassium liquid mixture at room temperature was placed in a vacuum chamber. The metal droplets were slowly introduced to small amounts of water vapor, which allowed the water to condense onto the droplet, forming a one-tenth of a micrometer thick layer. Since the electrons were able to diffuse into the water from the droplet and caused the liquid to briefly turn bronze, it provided the right amount of visual proof that water reached a metallic state, even if only for a small moment.
The findings are a major feat for the science community as the results disprove the hypothesis that water could only turn into a metallic state under extreme pressure. This was often the belief regarding water found in the center of planets in Neptune or Uranus.
— Davide Castelvecchi (@dcastelvecchi) July 28, 2021
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