Ice-Nine Modeled In Harvard Computer - We're Doomed
Harvard has finally ended the world (in simulation, anyway) by creating a computer model that shows how it might be possible for water to remain frozen at body temperature.
Doctoral student Alexander Wissner-Gross and Efthimios Kaxiras, physics professor and Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics, have created a computer model that shows how it is possible for a layer of diamond coated with sodium atoms to keep water frozen indefinitely at up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit.
In ice, water molecules are arranged in a rigid framework that gives the substance its hardness. The process of melting is somewhat like a building falling down: pieces that had been arranged into a rigid structure move and flow against one another, becoming liquid water.
The computer model shows that whenever a water molecule near the diamond-sodium surface starts to fall out of place, the surface stabilizes it and reassembles the crystalline ice structure.
The coating would make it possible for biomedical devices planted in the body to have a more biocompatible coating.
Fortunately for the rest of the planet, however, the technique will only work for extremely thin layers of water - two nanometers at body temperature, which is just a few water molecules.
But, it's a start.
Everybody knows about ice-nine from Kurt Vonnegut's 1963 novel Cat's Cradle, in which a helpful scientist creates a tiny sliver of an ice crystal that could stay solid at room temperature. Once it touched other water, every molecule of that water would organize itself into the solid ice-nine matrix. The result?
There were no smells. There was no movement. Every step I took made a gravelly squeak in blue-white frost. And every squeak was echoed loudly. The season of locking was over. The Earth was locked up tight...
(Read more about Vonnegut's ice-nine)
Via Physorg. Thanks also to an anonymous reader who contributed the tip.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/1/2007)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
New Material Absorbs and Stores Solar Energy
'The light that is thus trapped can be released by making a small spark near the glass.' - L. Sprague de Camp, 1940.
3D Printed Damascus Steel Now Possible
'... lined with durite, that strange close-packed laboratory product.' - Robert Heinlein, 1939.
3D Printing Of Metallic Glass
Draw Circuits With Conductive Ink
'It's rewiring things... squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon along the printed circuitry.'
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Las Vegas Tunnels To Have Autonomous Teslas
'...just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.'
TCL CSOT 17-Inch Printed OLED Scrolling Display
'..a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling colour.'
Reachy Humanoid VR Teleoperation App
"I went to the control room where the three other men were manipulating their mechanical men...'
Unitree A1 Robot ala Black Mirror and Snow Crash
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power...'
DALL-E Makes Creative Images From Text
Okay, sf fans. If you could have some art created from a science fiction sentence, what sentence would you pick?
BladeBUG Robots Clean Massive Wind Turbine Blades
'There were the cleaners, with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length...'
Looms To Manually Weave Lunar Rover Wheels
It's fascinating to me how the Apollo program forced people to think outside their usual boxes.
IceBot Antarctic (Planetary?) Robotic Explorers Made Of Ice
'Some will combine in place to form more complicated structures, like excavators or centipedes.'
Glad 2020 Is Over
Maybe you missed one of these?
PEDOT Polymer Could Enhance Brain-Machine Interfaces
'the hair-fine wire going deep into Owen's brain, down into the pleasure center.'
Study: Robots Encourage Humans To Take Risks
Not exactly Three Laws compliant.
Kinetic Buildings And Psychotropic Houses
'There was a dim whirring, and the spheres tipped and began to rotate...'
Jupe Urban Escape Pods Have Tesla, SpaceX Roots
'The houses are prefabricated units... and they sell at the flat rate of five hundred dollars a room — set up.'
Best Robot Dance Video Of 2020
'I can Mashed Potato... I can do the Twist.'
Vertical Farm In Singapore's Output Is 1.5 Tons Per Day
'A towering eighty-story structure like the office "In-and-Out" baskets stacked up to the sky.'
3D Printed 'Blisk' Manufactured In Orbit
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories