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Friday, 3 February 2017

The origin of water (2)

It's winter in Europe and that allows us to see a solid shape of water: ice (and snow). Usually we use water in its most common liquid state. On hot summer days, water may vaporize into gas. Besides its liquid, gaseous and solid state, a new shape of water has recently been discovered: metal.

New Scientist: "In 1935, Eugene Wigner and Hillard Bell Huntington predicted that at a pressure of 25 gigapascals (GPa), solid molecular hydrogen would turn into a metal." Given the ginormous pressures involved, it was impossible to prove this hypothesis - until now.

Isaac Silvera and Ranga Dias at Harvard University achieved this by "using diamonds to squeeze solid hydrogen at low temperatures, until the atoms were so packed that they started to share electrons. The shared cloud of electrons indicated a transition into a metallic state, making the hydrogen shiny and electrically conductive." (New Scientist)

The above may seem irrelevant until you know its potential applications: "a room-temperature superconductor", "superconducting wires that carry electricity vast distances without dissipating any power", and "rocket fuel vastly more potent than anything we have at present". (New Scientist)

On 27 January 2017, physicist John Tse from the Canadian University of Saskatchewan reports that "planet Earth makes its own water from scratch deep in the mantle". The "popular view has been that icy asteroids or comets could have brought water to Earth billions of years ago in an epic collision that filled the planet's oceans" (Science Alert). Remarkably, my blog of 4 May 2015 already mentioned this missing hypothesis. In my view, alien hypotheses are an insult to statistics.

It's hard not to see the overlap in both articles. Firstly, water being changed into metal under huge pressure and, secondly, water being produced in the Earth's core under huge pressure. The combination of both findings would suggest that the Earth's "solid" inner core and liquid outer core operate like a chemical factory, transforming (liquid) metal into water under huge pressure.

Again, the above may seem irrelevant until you realise its potential consequences. All planets are likely to have been created along the same lines. Consequently, many, most or all planets would then store huge amounts of water in their core. Without an atmosphere, this would not be visible as surface water would vaporize into gas into the universe. The presence of water would allow humans to leave this planet and find a genuinely habitable planet.

Planet Mars confirms the above, and in more than one way. "Atmospheric loss has controlled Mars’s habitability over time, removing most of the planet’s liquid water through the escape of atomic hydrogen and oxygen to space." Excerpt from a 30 January 2017 press release following a new study of the University of Colorado.

The hydrological or water cycle (eg, evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration, surface runoff and subsurface flow) is incomplete - if only for the creation part.

Waterfall (1987) by Wendy & Lisa - artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2