Scientists discover new form of ice inside diamonds

Thanks to their discovery, ice-VII has been recognized for the first time as a mineral in the International Mineralogical Association.

Scientists discover new form of ice inside diamonds
(Representational image)

New Delhi: Newly unearthed diamonds around the world have been found to contain a rare form of ice, according to a study published on Thursday.

Known as Ice-VII, the new type of ice possesses a cubic shape and is about 1.5 times as dense as the regular ice – Ice-I.

Different from other solids, whose atoms squeeze together under higher forms of pressure, water-based ice rearrange themselves into new structures when subjected to increasing pressure.

For instance, putting a certain amount of pressure on ice-I will give way to ice-II, which has a rhombohedral structure.

As the pressure on the ice is increased, the atoms will rearrange themselves into ice-III, then IV, V, VI and VII.

According to Xinhua news agency, the discovery has cheered the scientists, who previously believed that ice-VII only existed on other planets of the solar systems.

"Water in diamonds is not unknown, but finding this very high pressure form of water ice intact, that was really fortuitous," George Rossman, a mineralogist at Caltech, told the Los Angeles Times. "That's what you call discovery."

Thanks to their discovery, ice-VII has been recognized for the first time as a mineral in the International Mineralogical Association.

Those diamonds with ice-VII inside were collected from mines in Africa and China, Xinhua reported.

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