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New Type of Matter Discovered: Both Solid and Liquid at the Same Time

We learn in elementary school that there are three states of matter β€” solid, liquid, and gas. Scientists have discovered a new phase of matter: one that is solid and liquid at the same time.

From National Geographic:

...a team has used a type of artificial intelligence to confirm the existence of a bizarre new state of matter, one in which potassium atoms exhibit properties of both a solid and a liquid at the same time. If you were somehow able to pull out a chunk of such material, it would probably look like a solid block leaking molten potassium that eventually all dissolved away.
β€œIt would be like holding a sponge filled with water that starts dripping out, except the sponge is also made of water,” says study coauthor Andreas Hermann, a condensed matter physicist at the University of Edinburgh whose team describes the work this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

This state, called the chain-melt phase, join the group of other unusual states of matter.

(Image Credit: Screenshot from National Geographic.

Original Photo by Turtle Rock Scientific/ Science Source)


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