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Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Water is complicated and fascinating stuff! There are at least sixteen known crystal phases of ice, many shown here...

For example, ordinary ice is called ice Ih, because it has hexagonal crystals. But if you cool it below -37 °C, scientists believe it will gradually turn into a cubic form, called ice Ic. In this form of ice the water molecules are arranged like carbons in a diamond! And apparently some of it can be found in ice crystals in the stratosphere.

But if you wait longer, ice below -37 °C will turn into ice XI. The transformation process is slow, but ice XI has been found in Antarctic ice that’s 100 to 10,000 years old. This ice is ferroelectric, meaning that it spontaneously become electrically polarized, just like a ferromagnet spontaneously magnetizes.

That’s the usual textbook story, anyway. The true story may be even more complicated...

Personally, I prefer Ice-nine...


Catchfire wrote:

Personally, I prefer Ice-nine...

Wow, that reference takes me back a bunch of decades! I loved that book.

Not to be confused with Ice IX.



Ice Nine really? To that I can only say, I sit on a mountain top and give you the raspberry.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

What about this Ice? He's cool: