- Science and Technology- developments and their applications.
New state of matter
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: About the new state and its significance.
Context: Scientists have found a new state of physical matter recently. The new state is solid and liquid at the same time. Atoms can exist as both solid and liquid simultaneously.
The state is known as the chain melted state.
How was it found?
When applying high pressures and temperatures to potassium, a simple metal; it creates a state in which most of the element’s atoms form a solid lattice structure. However, some elements can, when subjected to extreme conditions, take on the properties of both solid and liquid states. Researchers have shown that this unusual but stable state is part solid and part liquid.
What causes this?
Applying pressure to the atoms leads to the formation of two interlinked solid lattice structures. Chemical interactions between atoms in one lattice are strong, meaning they stay in a solid form when the structure is heated, while the other atoms melt into a liquid state. Under the right conditions, over half a dozen elements, including sodium and bismuth are thought to be capable of existing in the newly discovered state.