Ice-Nine Modeled In Harvard Computer - We're Doomed
Harvard has finally ended the world (in simulation, anyway) by creating a computer model that shows how it might be possible for water to remain frozen at body temperature.
Doctoral student Alexander Wissner-Gross and Efthimios Kaxiras, physics professor and Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics, have created a computer model that shows how it is possible for a layer of diamond coated with sodium atoms to keep water frozen indefinitely at up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit.
In ice, water molecules are arranged in a rigid framework that gives the substance its hardness. The process of melting is somewhat like a building falling down: pieces that had been arranged into a rigid structure move and flow against one another, becoming liquid water.
The computer model shows that whenever a water molecule near the diamond-sodium surface starts to fall out of place, the surface stabilizes it and reassembles the crystalline ice structure.
The coating would make it possible for biomedical devices planted in the body to have a more biocompatible coating.
Fortunately for the rest of the planet, however, the technique will only work for extremely thin layers of water - two nanometers at body temperature, which is just a few water molecules.
But, it's a start.
Everybody knows about ice-nine from Kurt Vonnegut's 1963 novel Cat's Cradle, in which a helpful scientist creates a tiny sliver of an ice crystal that could stay solid at room temperature. Once it touched other water, every molecule of that water would organize itself into the solid ice-nine matrix. The result?
There were no smells. There was no movement. Every step I took made a gravelly squeak in blue-white frost. And every squeak was echoed loudly. The season of locking was over. The Earth was locked up tight...
(Read more about Vonnegut's ice-nine)
Via Physorg. Thanks also to an anonymous reader who contributed the tip.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/1/2007)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Self-Healing Circuits From Carnegie Mellon
'It even had an inter-skin layer of gum that could seal the punctures...'- Raymond Z. Gallun, 1951.
Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme. - Frank Herbert, 1965.
Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'- J.G. Ballard, 1962.
3D Printed Graphene Aerogel - So Light!
'... light as cork and stronger than steel...' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1929.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
China Uses Artificial Intelligence To Grade Student Papers
Looks like the City Fathers are starting to take over China's education system.
Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'
Self-Healing Circuits From Carnegie Mellon
'It even had an inter-skin layer of gum that could seal the punctures...'
Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'
SpotMini Robot Dog, Autonomous And On Sale In 2019
Great, an autonomous slamhound. It is cute, though.
RoboFly Is Laser-Powered, Adorable
Don't swat this fly!
MSG Sphere Las Vegas, ala Star Wars
'The smoky globe, hung in the vault, was shot with colored light...'
Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...
MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!
UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
You know you want to ride in one.
Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is calling!
Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.
Healthy Fast Food Courtesy Of Robot Chefs
'The electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'
Mass Production Of In Vitro Meat From One Sample
They're Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing
Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.
Retinal Prosthesis Uses Organic Printing Inks
We can rebuild you - well, your eyes, maybe.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories