We learn in elementary school that there are three states of matter — 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.
“It 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)