MIT Researchers Make New Discovery, Water Freezes At High Temperatures

By  //  December 2, 2016

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water freezes solid when placed in tiny tubes

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Despite its abundance, water remains a mysterious substance with a host of strange properties. A new discovery from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology just added to the anomalies — even at high temperatures, water freezes solid when placed in tiny tubes.

(DIGITAL TRENDS) – Despite its abundance, water remains a mysterious substance with a host of strange properties. A new discovery from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology just added to the anomalies — even at high temperatures, water freezes solid when placed in tiny tubes.

The discovery came as a surprise to a team of chemical engineers led by professor Michael Strano, who had been trying to send electric currents through water in nanotubes.

“We noticed unexpected changes in some measurements and discovered that the changes resulted from heating,” graduate student Lee Drahushuk, co-author of a paper detailing the discovery, told Digital Trends. “From there, we varied temperature systematically and realized the changes were an effect of a phase transition between liquid and solid water inside the nanotube.”

The researchers decided to investigate this behavior but were surprised to find just how strange it was. At temperatures of at least 105 degrees Celsius (221 degrees Fahrenheit) — well beyond water’s usual boiling point — the water in their nanotubes froze solid.

The degree and direction of the phase transition was way more than they expected.

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