Scientists have found a surprising reservoir of water in the bowels of the Earth

Ученые обнаружили удивительные залежи воды в недрах Земли

Scientists at the University of Chicago conducted a quantum simulation to simulate the behavior of water in extreme conditions existing in the Earth’s mantle. Article researchers published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Research work is briefly described in the press release on EurekAlert!. At high temperature and pressure, water starts to exhibit anomalous properties, while at the same time in different phases. It can be liquid when the temperature of the medium is 10 times higher the boiling point, and combine the characteristics of liquid and solid. Scientists simulated conditions with the help of a supercomputer, increasing the temperature and pressure of the environment in which water molecules, to values that are, respectively, 40 times and 100 thousand times higher than normal conditions. In the laboratory, this experiment is impossible, as water begins to enter into a chemical reaction with the material of the equipment. For simplicity, the researchers examined only a small number of H2O molecules by studying their quantum state under extreme conditions. The researchers showed that at a temperature of 1000 Kelvin (726 degrees Celsius) and a pressure of 11 to 20 gigapascal (GPA) water is in the liquid phase and quickly dissociates into ions, which then are recombined. This process is accomplished using a bimolecular mechanism, when the kinetic energy of two molecules is so high that in a collision they would break up. The resulting short-lived ions play the role of charge carriers, which explains why the electrical conductivity of the water in such an extreme environment by 6-7 orders of magnitude higher than in normal conditions. While the hydrogen bonds between the molecules, providing a liquid state are stored at least at pressures up to 20 gigapascal.
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