Study investigates a critical transition in water that remains liquid far below the freezing point

phys.org | 2/21/2019 | Staff
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Water can remain liquid at temperatures far below 0 degrees Celsius. This supercooled phase is a current focus for scientific research. A theoretical model developed at São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Brazil shows that in supercooled water, there is a critical point at which properties such as thermal expansion and compressibility exhibit anomalous behavior.

Led by Mariano de Souza, a professor in the Physics Department of UNESP's Institute of Geosciences and Exact Sciences at Rio Claro, the study was supported by FAPESP. An article by Souza and collaborators describing the study has been published in Scientific Reports.

Study - Point - Transition - Water - Degrees

"Our study shows that this second critical point is analogous to the liquid-gas transition in water at about 374 degrees Celsius and at a pressure of some 22 megapascals," Souza told.

Liquid and gas phases coexist in water at approximately 374 degrees Celsius. The genesis of this exotic behavior can be observed, for example, in a pressure cooker. At this point, water's thermodynamic properties begin to display anomalous behavior. For this reason, the point is considered "critical."

Case - Water - Phases - Dense - System

In the case of supercooled water, two phases also coexist, but both are liquid. One is more dense and the other less dense. If the system continues to be cooled appropriately below 0 degrees Celsius, there comes a point on the phase...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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