Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pentagonal Ice Discovered: Could Be Used To Modify Weather

Date:
April 7, 2009
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered a five-sided ice chain structure that could be used to modify future weather patterns.

A newly discovered five-sided ice chain structure could be used to modify future weather patterns.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Matt Forster, University of Liverpool

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered a five-sided ice chain structure that could be used to modify future weather patterns.

Researchers, in collaboration with University College London and the Fritz-Haber Institut in Berlin, created the first moments of water condensing on matter – a process vital for the formation of clouds in the atmosphere – by analysing how the two interact on a flat copper surface. Ice has rarely been viewed at the nanoscale before and the team discovered a one-dimensional chain structure built from pentagon-shaped rings, rather than the more commonly seen hexagonal structures of ice formations like those seen in snowflakes.

This discovery could lead to scientists developing new materials for seeding clouds and causing rain. Cloud seeding is a form of weather modification, where the amount or type of precipitation that falls from clouds is altered by dispersing substances into the air which modify cloud particles. This process can increase amounts of rain and snow but can also be used to suppress hail and fog. The substances currently used to seed clouds are chosen to bind to hexagonal ice, but this work suggests that the process could work equally well with materials which bind to other structures.

Professor Andrew Hodgson, from the University’s Surface Science Research Centre, said: “Water is a ubiquitous material that is central to many biological and chemical reactions, but its influence is often indirect and difficult to understand. Water usually takes on hexagonal arrangements, like those seen in snowflakes, yet this research has shown that the intricate, nanoscale structure of ice can actually be built from one-dimensional pentagons.

“Ice crystals form against flat, solid surfaces and watching the microscopic process take place on copper has provided detailed information on how ice forms at interfaces. The research will help to improve our understanding of how ice patterns form and how water is structured at metal interfaces.

“Many important chemical reactions take place at interfaces so understanding the structure of water in these environments will allow scientists to make better models of these processes. With a better understanding of how ice crystals form in the upper atmosphere, new and cheaper materials could now be developed that could be used across the globe to seed clouds and modify weather patterns."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Liverpool. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Javier Carrasco, Angelos Michaelides, Matthew Forster, Sam Haq, Rasmita Raval & Andrew Hodgson. A one-dimensional ice structure built from pentagons. Nature Materials, 2009; DOI: 10.1038/nmat2403

Cite This Page:

University of Liverpool. "Pentagonal Ice Discovered: Could Be Used To Modify Weather." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090407075344.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2009, April 7). Pentagonal Ice Discovered: Could Be Used To Modify Weather. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090407075344.htm
University of Liverpool. "Pentagonal Ice Discovered: Could Be Used To Modify Weather." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090407075344.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins