Come on in, the water is superionic

Research paper

The interiors of Uranus and Neptune each contain about 50,000 times the amount of water in Earth’s oceans, and a form of water known as superionic water is believed to be stable at depths greater than approximately one-third of the radius of these ice giants.

Superionic water is a phase of H2O where hydrogen atoms become liquid-like while oxygen atoms remain solid-like on a crystalline lattice. Although superionic water was proposed over three decades ago, its optical properties and oxygen lattices were only accurately measured recently in experiments by LLNL’s Marius Millot and Federica Coppari, and many properties of this hot “black ice” are still uncharted.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have developed a new approach using machine learning to study the phase behaviors of superionic water with unprecedented resolution.

Buried deep within the core of planets, much of the water in the universe may be superionic. Understanding its thermodynamic and transport properties is crucial for planetary science but difficult to probe experimentally or theoretically.

Under the pressures and temperatures found in ice-giant planets, most of this water was predicted by First-Principles Molecular Dynamics (FPMD) simulations to be in a superionic phase. However, such quantum-mechanical simulations have traditionally been limited to short simulation times (10s of picoseconds) and small system size (100s of atoms), leading to significant uncertainty in the location of phase boundaries such as the melting line.

In experiments on superionic water, sample preparation is extremely challenging: hydrogen positions cannot be determined and temperature measurements in dynamical compression experiments are not straightforward. Often the experiments benefit from the guidance provided by quantum molecular dynamic simulations both during the design stage and for the interpretation of the results.

In the most recent research, the team made a leap forward in its ability to treat large system sizes and long-time scales by making use of machine learning techniques to learn the atomic interactions from quantum mechanical calculations. They then used that machine-learned potential to drive the molecular dynamics and enable the use of advanced free energy sampling methods to accurately determine the phase boundaries.

“We use machine learning and free energy methods to overcome the limitations of quantum mechanical simulations, and characterize hydrogen di?usion, superionic transitions and phase behaviors of water at extreme conditions,” said LLNL physicist Sebastien Hamel, a co-author of a paper appearing in Nature Physics.

The team found that phase boundaries, which are consistent with the existing experimental observations, help resolve the fractions of insulating ice, di?erent superionic phases and liquid water inside of ice giants.

The construction of effective interaction potentials that retain the accuracy of quantum mechanical calculations is a difficult task. The framework that was developed here is general and can be used to discover and/or characterize other complex materials such as battery electrolytes, plastics and nanocrystalline diamond used in Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) capsules, as well as new phases of ammonia, salts, hydrocarbons, silicates and related mixtures that are relevant for planetary science.

“Our quantitative understanding of superionic water sheds light into the interior structure, evolution and magnetic fields of planets such as Uranus and Neptune and also of the increasing number of icy exoplanets,” Hamel said.

Research paper

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Three hours to save Integral

On 22 September, around midday, ESA’s Integral spacecraft went into emergency Safe Mode. One of the spacecraft’s three active ‘reaction wheels’ had turned off without warning and stopped spinning, causing ... Read more »

Russian rocket tests briefly destabilise space station

The International Space Station was briefly destabilised Friday during tests of a Russian-made Soyuz rocket, but the crew and the orbital station were not in danger, Moscow said. Russia’s Roscosmos ... Read more »

Working towards a Digital Twin of Earth

How can a digital replica of Earth help us understand our planet’s past, present and future? As part of the fourth edition of F-week taking place this week, a group ... Read more »

China's space station worth ever Yuan

The three Chinese astronauts who are now on board Tianhe, the core module of Tiangong space station, will work and live there for about six months. This is the longest ... Read more »

IU physicists lead world's most precise measurement of neutron lifetime

An international team of physicists led by researchers at Indiana University has announced the world’s most precise measurement of the neutron’s lifetime. The scientific purpose of the experiment, which IU ... Read more »

Blue Origin launches William Shatner, TV's Captain Kirk, into space and back

Star Trek actor William Shatner went boldly into space Wednesday morning and returned safely with three crew members aboard a Blue Origin capsule launched from West Texas. Shatner, 90, becomes ... Read more »

NASA Turns to the Cloud for Help With Next-Generation Earth Missions

The cutting-edge Earth science satellites launching in the next couple of years will give more detailed views of our planet than ever before. We’ll be able to track small-scale ocean ... Read more »

NASA's SLS passes key review for Artemis I ,ission

NASA has completed the design certification review (DCR) for the Space Launch System Program (SLS) rocket ahead of the Artemis I mission to send the Orion spacecraft to the Moon. ... Read more »

Dunlap Astronomer discovers we may be surrounded by tunnel-like structure

A Dunlap Institute astronomer has discovered that our solar system may be surrounded by what she describes as a magnetic tunnel that can be seen in radio waves. Dr. Jennifer ... Read more »

UK and NASA join forces on new mission to study 'magnetic bubble' around Sun

The UK Space Agency and NASA have agreed to work together on a mission to observe and map the heliosphere – the area of space surrounding the Sun filled with ... Read more »

French cloud computing IPO mints Europe's latest tech billionaire

French cloud computing group OVHcloud made its debut on the Paris stock market Friday, turning its Polish-born founder, Octave Klaba, into Europe’s newest tech billionaire. The shares traded at slightly ... Read more »

Successful static firing test with DLR involvement

On 1 October 2021, an S50 solid-propellant rocket motor, which will form the first two stages of the new VLM-1 launch vehicle, successfully completed a static firing test in the ... Read more »

Japanese billionaire Maezawa 'not afraid' ahead of ISS launch

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa said Thursday he had no fear ahead of his “dream-come-true” launch to the International Space Station (ISS), a Russian project aimed at boosting its space tourism ... Read more »

NASA announces astronaut changes for upcoming Commercial Crew Missions

NASA has reassigned astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada to the agency’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station as part of the Commercial Crew Program. Mann and Cassada ... Read more »

NASA, ULA pursue precision launch for Lucy asteroid mission

NASA has worked years to build a spacecraft to examine eight asteroids for clues about the origins of the solar system, and now the agency has a three-week period to ... Read more »

Russian Soyuz rocket launches 36 new UK satellites

A Russian Soyuz rocket on Thursday blasted into space carrying 36 new satellites from British operator OneWeb, which aims to provide broadband internet everywhere in the world. The rocket, operated ... Read more »

SpaceX will debut new Dragon capsule for upcoming crew launch

SpaceX will debut a new Crew Dragon capsule, the company’s third to carry astronauts, for the Crew 3 mission to the International Space Station on Oct. 30, Elon Musk’s company ... Read more »

Thomas Pesquet takes commanding role on Space Station

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet became commander of the International Space Station, taking over from Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut and fellow Crew-2 member Akihiko Hoshide. Thomas will hold this role ... Read more »

'It was unbelievable': Star Trek's Shatner becomes real life astronaut

“Star Trek” actor William Shatner finally became a real space traveler on Blue Origin’s second crewed mission Wednesday, calling it the most profound experience of his life. “It was unbelievable,” ... Read more »

Hubble Finds Evidence of Persistent Water Vapor in One Hemisphere of Europa

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope observations of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa have revealed the presence of persistent water vapor – but, mysteriously, only in one hemisphere. Europa harbors a vast ocean ... Read more »

The unusual magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune

Not all ice is the same. The solid form of water comes in more than a dozen different – sometimes more, sometimes less crystalline – structures, depending on the conditions ... Read more »

To watch a comet form, a spacecraft could tag along for a journey toward the sun

Deep in the solar system, between Jupiter and Neptune, lurk thousands of small chunks of ice and rock. Occasionally, one of them will bump into Jupiter’s orbit, get caught and ... Read more »

What a blast: The rush of amateur astronauts

As veteran actor William Shatner — Captain Kirk of “Star Trek” fame — becomes the latest celebrity to go into space on Wednesday, we look at the recent rush of ... Read more »

NASA Announces 60 Teams for 2022 Student Launch Competition

NASA has announced the 60 teams from 22 states and Puerto Rico selected to compete in the 2022 Student Launch – one of seven Artemis Student Challenges. The nine-month challenge, ... Read more »

UAE spacecraft to explore asteroid belt after Mars success

The United Arab Emirates will launch a spacecraft to explore a major asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, officials said Tuesday, after a UAE probe reached the red planet early ... Read more »

Simulating space on Earth: NASA receives hardware for testing satellite servicing tech

In August 2021, new testing equipment arrived at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, in the form of a gravity offset table. NASA engineers will use the table ... Read more »

China's Mars probes suspend explorations due to Sun outage

China’s Mars rover and orbiter have suspended explorations since mid-September, to wait out a period of sun outage, the China National Space Administration said on Tuesday. A sun outage refers ... Read more »

Eutelsat raises its shareholding in OneWeb

Eutelsat Communications has exercised a call option on a portion of the latest OneWeb funding round subscribed by Bharti, for a consideration of $165 million, taking its shareholding from 17.6% ... Read more »

NASA scientist looks to AI, lensing to find masses of free-floating planets

Exoplanet hunters have found thousands of planets, most orbiting close to their host stars, but relatively few alien worlds have been detected that float freely through the galaxy as so-called ... Read more »

Evergrande: default alarms put thousands of suppliers, jobs and economy at risk as developer's IOUs balloon

The third of a three-part series on China Evergrande Group takes a deep dive into how the property developer’s debt crisis is affecting thousands of suppliers across the construction, furnishings ... Read more »

Process leading to supernova explosions and cosmic radio bursts unearthed at PPPL

A promising method for producing and observing on Earth a process important to black holes, supernova explosions and other extreme cosmic events has been proposed by scientists at Princeton University’s ... Read more »

Late-time small-body disruptions can protect the Earth

If an asteroid is determined to be on an Earth-impacting trajectory, scientists typically want to stage a deflection, where the asteroid is gently nudged by a relatively small change in ... Read more »

Can we ever be safe in space

Science fiction, which is perhaps more popular than it has ever been, would lead us to believe that space colonization is just a matter of time. The reality, however, is ... Read more »

Interstellar research group holds their 7th annual symposium

The seventh annual national Interstellar Symposium was presented by the Interstellar Research Group and hosted by the University of Arizona at the Marriott University Park from Friday, Sept. 24 to ... Read more »

Dwarf planet Vesta a window to the early solar system

The dwarf planet Vesta is helping scientists better understand the earliest era in the formation of our solar system. Two recent papers involving scientists from the University of California, Davis, ... Read more »

‘Muslim warrior, smashed idol of Somnath': Taliban leader Anas Haqqani praises Mahmud Ghaznavi

© Provided by The Print New Delhi: In a provocative move, Taliban leader Anas Haqqani visited the tomb of Turkic ruler Mahmud Ghaznavi in Afghanistan Tuesday and referred to him ... Read more »

Aerojet Rocketdyne completes Space Launch System rocket engine test series

The latest RS-25 engine test at NASA’s Stennis Space Center completed the Retrofit-2 test series, which validated modernized, lower-cost components for new RS-25 engines to be used on the Space ... Read more »

Arianespace to launch GSAT-24 satellite for NSIL with Ariane 5

On September 28, 2021, NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) entrusted Arianespace with the launch of its GSAT-24 telecommunications satellite. GSAT-24 is scheduled for launch in the 1st quarter of 2022, from ... Read more »

USNC-Tech team wins contract to develop nuclear thermal propulsion system for NASA

Idaho National Laboratory has selected USNC-Tech and its partners to develop a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) reactor concept design for space exploration: the Power-Adjusted Demonstration Mars Engine (PADME) NTP engine. ... Read more »

Endurosat and Exolaunch announce launch agreements for Spacex Falcon 9 Rideshare Missions

EnduroSat and Exolaunch have signed f launch agreements for sending two EnduroSat NanoSats into orbit aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9. The 6U XL SharedSat nanosatellites, built by EnduroSat for its customers, ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic