Scientists have just discovered that atoms can exist in both solid and liquid state at the same time.
This is the mindblowing news brought by the Daily Mail and more scientific publications.
It looks like experts who have been examining potassium have discovered a brand new state of physical matter in which atoms can exist as both solid and liquid at the very same time.
The research is supposed to clear up whether there was a distinct state of matter or these atoms were just transitioning between two stages, reports the Daily Mail.
The tests have been conducted on the simple metal, and high pressures and temperatures have been applied.
Powerful computer simulations have also been used to study something that was known as the “chain-melted” state.
More than half a dozen elements can exist in this new state
Experts from the University of Edinburgh believe that over half a dozen other elements – including sodium and bismuth – can exist in this new state.
It was previously not clear whether this structure represented its own distinct state of matter.
Researchers have simulated the behavior of about 20k potassium atoms under extreme conditions, and as a result, they said that they have indeed discovered a new, stable state of matter.
Dr. Andreas Hermann who works at the university’s School of Physics and Astronomy was the leader of the study. This is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Various applications will be possible in the future
He said: “Potassium is one of the simplest metals we know, yet if you squeeze it, it forms very complicated structures. We have shown that this unusual but stable state is part solid and par liquid. Recreating this unusual state in other materials could have all kinds of applications.”
The experts said that the extreme conditions have led to the formation of two interlinked solid structures in the atoms.
The chemical interactions between them were powerful and they allowed the atoms to stay in a solid form when heated. The other atoms melted into a liquid state.