Ice-Nine

A crystalline form of water so stable that in practical terms it would never melt. (Read the full article)

"one minor correction with your article on ice-nine - ice-nine has a boiling point of 114.4 degrees F...so technically there is a way to unfreeze the crystal"
(fbr 4/17/2004 10:39:26 AM )
"Thanks, I added that correction. Since the oceans locked up to the very bottom, it would be very hard to boil the oceans, so in practical terms, they would never melt again."
(Bill Christensen 4/19/2004 9:31:47 PM )
"Here is a paragraph from a recently published article from the Journal of Chemical Education (Vol. 81, 2004, p.509)that you may find interesting Although ice-nine is fictitious, it does have some interesting ties to the real world (4). The author of the story, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., graduated from Cornell University with a major in chemistry. Vonnegut took a job in the public relations office at General Electric where his older brother, Bernard, was working in the lab and had discovered how to use silver iodide particles for seeding clouds to precipitate rain and snow. The author Vonnegut credits the invention of ice-nine to Irving Langmuir, who pioneered the study of thin films and interfaces. While working in the public relations office at General Electric, Vonnegut came across a story of how Langmuir, who won the 1932 Nobel Prize for his work at General Electric, was charged with the responsibility of entertaining the author, H.G. Wells, who was visiting the company in the early 1930’s. Langmuir is said to have come up with an idea about a form of solid water that was stable at room temperature in the hopes that Wells might be inspired to write a story about it. Apparently, Wells was not inspired and neither he nor Langmuir ever published anything about it. After Langmuir and Wells had died, Vonnegut decided to use the idea in his book, Cat’s Cradle."
(Charley Liberko 4/22/2004 7:54:25 AM )
"ICE NINE TO SNOWBALL EARTH ICE AGE FANTASY BY ARTURO 1. An ice cube occupies several times the volume of the water that comprises it. 2. The additional volume of the ice cube is made up of air trapped in the ice. 3. Ice at the bottom of the huge miles thick glaciers that cover Greenland and Antarctica has been compressed for eons by the tremendous forces of the weight above it. Core samples reveal a special kind of super compressed ice exists at the lower depths, ICE9. 4. This ICE9 has air bubbles so highly compressed that the ice occupies but a little more volume than the water that comprises it. 5. When ICE9 melts it releases more than three times as much water as regular ice occupying the same volume. As the icecaps melt the oceans become less saline, raising their freezing temperature, making it easier for the oceans to freeze. 6. When ICE9 melts it releases the highly compressed air trapped within into the atmosphere. This produces the same thermodyamic effect used in a refrigeration unit and lowers the surrounding air temperature. 7. Paleogeologists are puzzled by the record that indicates several times in earth's geological history the oceans were frozen solid and the land masses were covered with snow and glaciers. They call this Snowball Earth. 8. If enough ICE9 were to melt quickly enough, this would produce the effect of freezing the earth. 9. ICE9! --Arturo Factori"
(Arturo Factori 5/17/2004 11:51:52 AM )
"thw anwser ist not complety"
(Carlos 5/31/2004 5:21:53 AM )
"Ice nine sounds like a very dangerous thing if it were made. Could it ever in theoretical terms be created?"
(jonathan 6/22/2004 5:30:59 PM )
"Ice nine is based on a science fad of the 1960's and 70's called Polywater. Polywater was the focus of much serious science research and even gave rise to a sort of "polywater arms race" with the USSR. It has since been proven to be a bunch of bunkum. There is a very good book on this called "Polywater" by Felix Franks (1982 MIT press). Good luck finding it. A lot of basic information is available through google."
(Wren 6/23/2004 2:40:54 PM )
"the virus released in that movie with colin ferril and al pachino. But it was an internet virus was it not? please correct me if im wrong if been seaching for the answer. -promethiusx snoop989@hotmail.com"
(Ice Nine 6/29/2004 3:51:30 AM )
"Yes, I do point out that ice-nine will melt in the article."
(Bill Christensen 8/20/2004 4:33:47 PM )
"If this reference: http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/ATG/ice.html is anything to go by, the real Ice IX forms at very low temperatures, rather than high pressure. It's Ice VIII that's the highest pressure form."
(Brian Clegg 12/7/2004 6:19:41 AM )
"do you guys like cheese as much as i do?"
(cheese pimp 1/28/2005 8:57:10 AM )
"not helpful and is no use"
( 3/3/2005 4:20:13 PM )
"The only novel that mentions polywater is "Ice From Space" by David Houston. Chpt. 5 Heavy Ice p68 "The object was constituted mainly of water ice. Ordinary H2O. It melted at 32F, 0C, as expected; and in small quantities-shavings and tiny chips removed from the astral body-the melting rate seemed normal. Could there be some pressure-compacted frozen metal, liquid or gas at the core of the thing? Something maintaining an unthinkably low temperature?"
( 4/25/2005 3:13:41 PM )
"I would think that as water crystallized into Ice-9, it would have to release heat (entropy decreases). I wonder where all this heat went in the story? Would it have released enough heat to have kept at least part of the oceans liquid?"
(Bill 4/28/2005 9:04:55 AM )
"Very interesting to learn about the influences Vonnegut may have had. With ice-nine I think Vonnegut was making a pun of asinine."
(ed 4/29/2005 1:42:31 PM )
"so who is the aerospace engineer that posted the "ICE NINE TO SNOWBALL EARTH ICE AGE" comment. his assertion "5. When ICE9 melts it releases more than three times as much water as regular ice occupying the same volume." has got to be better fiction than Vonnegut's original. "
( 7/1/2005 6:41:40 AM )
"what is the melting point of regular ice"
( 11/8/2005 3:04:22 PM )
"Whoever said "an ice cube occupies several times the volume of the water that comprises it" has obviously never seen ice melt. While it is true that ice is less dense than its liquid counterpart (otherwise it would sink) it is a modest difference. Why do you think 90 percent of the volume of a given piece of floating ice is beneath the surface of the water is floats in (if arturo's assertion were true, this would be reversed). Another way of thinking of it, when you fill an ice cube tray, do you just fill it a quarter of the way up and magically find it full in the morning? There is blue ice that forms under pressure at the bottom of glaciers, and it looks pretty, but that about the end of that line of conjecture."
( 11/10/2005 9:25:55 PM )
"Did Vonnegut have a molecular model for ice nine?"
( 11/16/2005 5:22:56 PM )
"I doubt he would bother."
( 11/21/2005 6:53:42 PM )
"It is a marvelous thing that this germ of an idea has caught so much attention that people are still talking and writing about it 40+ years after it was publisned. It is easily demonstrated, thusly, that popular novels have more of an influence on the public than the scientific journals. Since the idea of ice-nine in cats cradle was published in the scientific journals and papers of the time preceeding the 1960's; and never really caught the public's attention until Kurt V. Published Cats Cradle. "
(jaybeeinabq 2/16/2006 10:25:09 AM )
"You know what, having thought about it; given both Kurt and his brother's work at GE; the family connection. Given the Vonnegut's sense of wry, or apt humor - maybe he was, as written by the author on this journal, ed, 0n 4/29/05, maybe Vonnegut was just making a pun of asinine. And if he did not, I think he wishes he thought of it! HAHA! "
(jaybeeinabq=john boyd 2/16/2006 10:50:39 AM )
"Underwater volcanoes and tectonic rifts would keep the water around them liquid. But at the edges of the "hot bubble", the surrounding Ice-9 would freeze the water again. To knock it all loose again, there would need to be a "total evaporation event" for all the oceans, such as a planetoid impact. Inconveniently, this would also destroy pretty much all life on the planet (again.)"
(deputycleric 10/1/2006 5:52:50 PM )
"Here's one last gem from the novel - 'Dr. Hoenikker had only to go calling on Laboratory neighbors - borrowing this and that, making a winsome nuisance of himself - until, so to speak, he had baked his last batch of brownies. He had made a chip of ice-nine. It was blue-white. It had a melting point of one-hundred-fourteen-point-four degrees Fahrenheit."
(Bill Christensen 10/4/2006 8:42:03 PM )
"Does anyone know if the name Ice-Nine was related to Dante's lake of ice on the ninth level of hell?"
(Gordon 11/24/2006 12:46:47 PM )
"If you're worried about Ice-Nine, just think about flamable water and what might happen if throwing water on a fire would make it worst. Actually, flamable water would be a form of heavy water that is a bit unstable. In an engine, plasma igniters would use it as fuel to replace gasoline and diesel fuel. If the additives aren't too expensive and the initial supply of heavy water were made available at nuclear facilites, it might cost less to run a car on flamable water than with gasoline. The plasma would separate the hydrogen atoms from the oxygen and the additives would add more kick in the engine. If flamable water can be sold for under $2 a gallon, as long as the plasma doesn't damage the engine, a person could run his car on it and the only emission would be water vapor with nontoxic additives that won't harm the environment. "
(Rick Badman 12/27/2006 1:29:18 PM )
"last comment by badman on flammable water. what's the melting point, or other simple properties? i'm writing a "paper" on the scientific applications of ice-nine. thx!"
(karolina 3/28/2007 3:30:53 PM )
"YOU ALL SOUND LIKE SCREWBALLS TO ME."
(LAWRENCE SUTTON 5/16/2007 11:50:04 PM )
"Could someone tell me if it is really feasible? please!!!"
( 9/27/2007 10:59:59 AM )

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