A fascinating phase transition from one liquid state to another

phys.org | 3/26/2019 | Staff
vegdancer18 (Posted by) Level 3
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A team at the University of Tokyo has described in unprecedented detail the rare phenomenon of liquid-to-liquid phase transitions in a pure substance. By showing how a liquid made of just one type of molecule can switch between liquid and glassy states, this research may lead to a novel way to control the transport properties of a liquid.

Phase transitions include such phenomena as ice melting (solid to liquid), or steam coming from a teakettle (liquid to gas). However, the study of how one arrangement of molecules changes into another reveals complex details about the strength of their interactions. In conventional phase transitions, as with an iron bar melting into molten metal, added heat causes the atoms to vibrate so violently that they break free of their solid lattice arrangement and assume a liquid form. The team at the University of Tokyo studied a much rarer type of phase transition: from one liquid state to another. In this research, they found that even without changing temperature, relatively free-flowing triphenyl phosphite could gradually vitrify into a glassy state in which the molecules remain disordered but are much less mobile. The different phases were identifiable experimentally based on how quickly the molecules could relax after being...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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