Scientists at University of Edinburgh discovers chain-melted state of matter
The scientists at University of Edinburgh have discovered a new state of physical matter – which allows atoms to exist as both solid and liquid at the same time. Until now, atoms in physical matter were understood to exist typically in one of three states — solid, liquid or gas. An international team of physicists have found that some elements can take on the properties of both solid and liquid states, when subjected to extreme conditions. They used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to simulate what would happen if potassium was subject to huge pressure — between about 200,000 and 400,000 times atmospheric pressure — and heat — between 400 to 800 Kelvin (260 to 980 degrees Fahrenheit). The study found that under these conditions potassium atoms entered what is known as a chain-melted state, where one of the two lattices — the “guest” part — dissolved into liquid, while the “host” part remained solid. They found that more than half a dozen other elements, including sodium and bismuth, were able to reach the state if they were put into the right environments.