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A new phase of ice may exist at high pressures and when temperatures are near absolute zero, between minus 452.5 and minus 369.7 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 50 Kelvin), according to researchers at the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center.
The team confirmed the density functional theory (DFT) calculations under these conditions which correctly account for the pre-edge feature of ice. However, quite unexpectedly they also obtained data indicating substantial spectral changes from ice IX, suggesting a significant change of the H2O framework in this P-T regime. In short, the exciting prospect of the formation of a possible new ice phase.
Science fiction readers have long been familiar with Kurt Vonnegut's fanciful version of ice-nine from his 1963 novel Cat's Cradle. In the novel, a Marine general wants a quick and easy solution to the problems posed by mud; a researcher finds a way to instantly crystalize the water in mud. Unfortunately, the fictional version of ice-nine did not stop with simply crystalizing the water in nearby mud.
Originally posted by utrex
Honestly, running DFT on three atom molecules is a TERRIBLE idea. There are all sorts of semi-empirical methods out there that have water's minimum being linear and ammonia being planar. DFT (I'm going to assume they're just using B3LYP), in particular, is pretty lousy for dispersion effects, so I wouldn't put much weight in the theory side of this paper. Is an actual reference available, or is this a case of desktop publishing (I don't see a reference anywhere in the article)?