From Wired News: "A new experiment confirms the existence of superionic ice, a black and hot form of water that might make up the bulk of giant icy planets."
Basically, they created a new type of water in a lab. It had been predicted years ago, but this is the first time anyone has actually seen it. Sort of a dry article, unless you're a science nerd, but some interesting stuff even if you only skim through.
The article was really interesting as it applied to the possible composition of planets.
But truthfully, Science was never my best subject so although I read the entire article I couldn't seem to grasp exactly what they are after.
Are these experiments science for the sake of science or do you suppose they have a practical application in mind for this substance somewhere down the line?
I really didn't understand the level of difficulty required to make this dark water, but the fact that it had electrical properties made me wonder if they were perhaps pursuing this as a possible source of energy. If not too difficult to create and if made from regular water -- depending on the expense of the process and the difficulty Of making it -- I just wonder if that's the possible endgame.
Admittedly I am a practical person and honestly can't understand the exploration of things with no ultimate purpose. Or at least a perceived purpose. Even if the experiment fails, I would need for there to be a practical application in mind at the end of the road.
So...what do you think they could use this for? Or do you think they even care if they can use it for anything?
>Admittedly I am a practical person and honestly can't understand the exploration of things with no ultimate purpose. Or at least a perceived purpose. ---The idea is that knowing how things work is good in and of itself. Maybe someday down the line there will be a way to make something useful, but the first step is figuring out what's going on behind the scenes in the universe.
---Consider the European explorers looking for a shorter trade route to the Far East. They found the Americas instead. No high-tech Chinese goods, no piles of gold, no nothing that was immediately useful. I'm sure the investors were severely disappointed and wanted their money back. But, eventually, someone figured out how to make the Americas a paying concern. Not what they were looking for, but useful nonetheless in a different way.
---Nitroglycerin had no value at first because it was too dangerous to safely handle. But then Nobel figure out how to make it safe to use (dynamite) and it became incredibly valuable. Modern society wouldn't exist without it.
---This weird type of water has no value right now, but just knowing that it exists gives us more information and it may someday be useful in some way or other that we can't see right now. The more we know, the better. 8->
(1) Any doomsday catalyst; any precipitator which brings about cataclysmic, apocalyptic change -- yes, Virginia, THE END of the world, Armageddon, "that's all she wrote", APOCALYPTIC #FAIL!
(2) The Unholy Grail of overzealous scientists who in the thoughtless pursuit of "pure science" unwittingly create a doomsday device.
(3) Specifically, the fictional doomsday catalyst envisioned by Kurt Vonnegut in his novel "Cat's Cradle." Ironically, the inventor of Vonnegut's "ice-nine" never intended his creation to be used as a doomsday device; this shortsighted scientist only foresaw "ice-nine" being used for the ploddingly pedestrian purpose of making it possible for combat Marines to march over mud in much the same manner that Jesus is said to have come striding across the tempest-tossed waves of the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14:24).
Indeed. Of course, any new discovery has the potential to be the source of a major disaster or to be used as a weapon. No one ever predicted that the commercial use of plastic bags would someday endanger the life in our oceans or that the internet would be able to influence elections, etc. But, yeah, Vonnegut, like many other SF writers, may have foreseen this one. 8->