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A Liquid That Turns Solid When Heated

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the ye-canna-break-th'-laws-o-physics dept.

Science 450

Roland Piquepaille writes "There are some sure things in life, such as death and taxes. When you are heating a solid, you expect it will melt and when you're boiling water, you're pretty certain that it will turn into vapor. But what about a liquid that becomes solid when it's heated? Of course, it has already been done, for example in the chemical process of polymerization. But now, PhysicsWeb writes that a team of French physicists has discovered a law-breaking liquid that defies the rules. When you heat it between 45 and 75C, it becomes solid. But the process is fully reversible, and this is a world's premiere. When you decrease the temperature, this solid melts and turns again into a liquid. I'm not sure of the implications of such a phenomenon, but it's fascinating. Read more for essential details."

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Weird, but cool! (5, Funny)

lesterchakyn (235922) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349690)

This is one of the things that makes you think if everything is as you know...

The Matrix anyone?

what it says (5, Insightful)

pbranes (565105) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349694)

What it says:

Plazanet and colleagues prepared a liquid solution containing a-cyclodextrine (alpha-CD), water and 4-methylpyridine (4MP). Cyclodextrines are cyclic structures containing hydroxyl end groups that can form hydrogen bonds with either the 4MP or water molecules.

What I see:

And if you expect me to tell you how this discovery will modify our lives, you're going to be disappointed. I've not a slightest idea about it, even if I find fascinating that scientists always find new ways to break rules and shake our certitudes.

Re:what it REALLY SAYS is... $$ (1)

Tuna_Shooter (591794) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349751)

" Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends" "How new technologies are modifying our way of life" "If you are interested by the subject, visit a university library, or buy the article for $22."

Re:what it says (2, Funny)

afidel (530433) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349817)

Failed freshmen chem did we?

Re:what it says (1)

EvilSporkMan (648878) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349818)

Learn some chemistry. Hydrogen bonds [wikipedia.org] have a lot to do with the interesting properties of water (which is quite an odd chemical, by the way).

I can think of another one... (-1)

Cowboy Bunny (622321) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349697)

Ice.

Re:I can think of another one... (0, Troll)

stvartak (740014) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349715)

Ice only turns into a solid when heated in Soviet Russia

Re:I can think of another one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349718)

I think you need to think about what the words "increase" and "decrease" mean.

Re:I can think of another one... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349724)

As far as I know, ice melts when the temperature rise. Sure, few people know that... ;-)

Re:I can think of another one... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349736)

You're confusing expansion with turning solid. Water is one of the few (only?) substances that expands when it freezes.

Re:I can think of another one... (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349943)

One of the interesting things is that ice expands because of hydrogen bonding, similar to what is happening in the material in the article. What makes the rigid structure in ice is that the hydrogen bonds have a longer half-life in ice than in water [umn.edu] .

speculation on applications? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349700)

so what could the application of such a material be? a new breed of thermometers are on their way, i guarantee it.

thermometers for the 21st century and beyond.

Re:speculation on applications? (2, Informative)

sketerpot (454020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349787)

We've already got good thermometers. How would this magically be better?

Re:speculation on applications? (5, Funny)

theAedileDecimus (728792) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349798)

I can just imagine it now...

You go to Target to buy a 12-pack of "One-Time Use Thermometers."
Instructions: "When the temperature is between 45 and 75 degrees celcius, the liquid inside turns to a solid, shattering the glass! That's all there is to it!"

Application: Construction of Skyscrapers (0, Troll)

reporter (666905) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349833)

This liquid has immediate application in the construction of skyscrapers. Consider building a 100-floor building. We pair each solid steel beam with a hollow steel beam. We fill each hollow beam with this unique liquid.

Now consider the following scenario. A raging fire occurs on the 70th floor. Normally, such a fire would threaten the top 30 floors if the fire were sufficiently hot. The top 30 floors could collapse into the 70th floor since the heat of the fire has weakened the supporting beams of the 70th floor.

With liquid-reinforced steel beams, they should retain their supporting strength. The top 30 floors would be safe.

If we had constructed the World Towers in New York City in this fashion, then they would not have collapsed on 2001 September 11.

Re:Application: Construction of Skyscrapers (4, Insightful)

John Courtland (585609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349887)

Not that I can read the article yet (due to slowness), but the summary doesn't say what happens after 75C. It might melt again and that would be bad. If true, this chemical will possibly force the scientific community to reevaluate chemical laws and make new, more general (and therefore better) ones.

Re:Application: Construction of Skyscrapers (2, Interesting)

dnixon112 (663069) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349905)

You talk as if fire is a real threat to reinforced steel skyscrapers. Prior to 9/11 there had never been a case of fire causing a skyscraper collapse. In fact, there was not even a real investigation proving that fire caused the 9/11 collapse; the steel was immediately shipped to Asia for scrap metal. So, since fire is not a big threat to skyscrapers why waste money trying to incorporate a new, unproven and likely expensive technology into steel skyscraper construction?

Re:Application: Construction of Skyscrapers (4, Informative)

mtnharo (523610) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349931)

An interesting concept, but I think we would need to research it a bit more. From what I gather in the article, the solution turns solid when heated between 45-75C. Beyond that it probably either burns or melts again. Those temps are much too low to have any impact in a fire.

Secondly, based on the types of compounds in the solution, and the description in the article, the "solid" is probably more of a waxy/jelly sort of substance.

That said, your idea could be made to work in other cases. I wonder if maybe the substance could be altered for use as a variable damping material for suspension or acoustic purposes.

Re:Application: Construction of Skyscrapers (1)

Jake Diamond (770429) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349939)

Uhh...yes, until the fire goes out. It would buy you some time to evacuate people (assuming the mechanical properties of this solid are sufficient), but as soon as it cools, that building is still coming down. It would not have prevented the collapse entirely.

Re:speculation on applications? (5, Funny)

TWX (665546) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349901)

I think that my girlfriend is comprised of this stuff. She seems to suddenly turn frigid as soon as things heat up...

chemistry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349705)

I used to make some type of gelatin-glue out of liquid by heating it in high school.

Re:chemistry (2, Funny)

edalytical (671270) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349774)

For your mohawk?

Cookie dough batter (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349707)

In other news:
Cookie dough batter turns to solid in oven when heated. (Yeah, yeah, it's not reversible...)

Re:Cookie dough batter (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349734)

> In other news:
Cookie dough batter turns to solid in oven when heated. (Yeah, yeah, it's not reversible...)

I was thinking about that as well. But I think that cookie dough just turns solid because the water in it slowly evaporates and not because the molecules stop moving (or move slower).

Re:Cookie dough batter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349844)

leave that shit out for a couple weeks it'll be really fucking solid

Re:Cookie dough batter (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349807)

Actually, it becomes solid when it begins to cool. Not before. Though, if you left it in the oven long enough it'll go to solid black pretty quick!

Re:Cookie dough batter (2, Informative)

$exyNerdie (683214) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349928)

Cookie dough batter turns to solid in oven when heated

Maybe it is because of the loss of water in it...

Obligatory... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349711)

But now, PhysicsWeb writes that a team of French physicists has discovered a law-breaking liquid that defies the rules. When you heat it between 45 and 75C, it becomes solid. ...The French physicists immediately surrendered to the solid form of the substance.

What?! (4, Funny)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349713)

No references to Ice nine?! I must be getting old.

Re:What?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349790)

No references to Ice nine?! I must be getting old.
You're not too old, you're just too good for slashdot. Which reminds me, it's a beautiful day outside...

Re:What?! (3, Informative)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349848)

Good call. Here [technovelgy.com] is a short explanation for those who are scratching their heads over what 'that program from The Recruit' might possibly have to do with solid liquids. Short answer: It doesn't; start reading more books!

Cool (1)

jhtrih (218203) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349716)

That is pretty cool. Can someone explain the phrase 'sol-gel'? Does that mean that it become more like a gelatinous subject when heated instead of a more 'solid' solid?

It's been a long time since I've taken chem.

Re:Cool (4, Informative)

k98sven (324383) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349950)

Can someone explain the phrase 'sol-gel'? Does that mean that it become more like a gelatinous subject when heated instead of a more 'solid' solid?

Sols aren't solids. A "sol" is a colloid solution, so is a gel. Without getting too deep into the chemistry, he's basically saying it's a gel.

(Look up 'sol', 'gel', 'dispersion' and 'colloid' for more details)

Nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349719)

I just happened to boil the boneless skinless chicken tenders 10 minutes ago and they were soft and mushy before I boiled them but became much firmer/harder after boiling them.......

Re:Nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349957)

yes. and if you could UN-denature those proteins by cooling the chicken again, you too could be discussed on slashdot (and probably up for a nobel prize in biochem.)

I read about this a while back.. (4, Funny)

dat00ket (249468) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349722)

Fascinating stuff. This physics marvel of a liquid is a mixture of many separate elements... including milk, flour, eggs, sugar, and a pinch of salt.

Re:I read about this a while back.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349909)

i don't know, the stuff i cook doesn't "When you decrease the temperature, this solid melts and turns again into a liquid".

however, if you leave it at room temperature for LONG ENOUGH it turns into some nasty goo sometimes.

T-1000 (1)

philbert26 (705644) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349726)

With a futuristic power source, a 30 degree change can't be that much to ask.

yay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349727)

yay 4th comment

article text - its already slowing (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349729)

A Liquid that Goes Solid when Heated

There are some sure things in life, such as death and taxes. When you are heating a solid, you expect it will melt and when you're boiling water, you're pretty certain that it will turn into vapor. But what about a liquid that becomes solid when it's heated? Of course, it has already been done, for example in the chemical process of polymerization. But now, PhysicsWeb writes that a team of French physicists has discovered a law-breaking liquid that defies the rules. When you heat it between 45 and 75, it becomes solid. But the process is fully reversible, and this is a world's premiere. When you decrease the temperature, this solid melts and turns again into a liquid. I'm not sure of the implications of such a phenomenon, but it's fascinating. Read more...

Here is the summary from PhysicsWeb.

Physicists in France have discovered a liquid that "freezes" when it is heated. Marie Plazanet and colleagues at the Université Joseph Fourier and the Institut Laue-Langevin, both in Grenoble, found that a simple solution composed of two organic compounds becomes a solid when it is heated to temperatures between 45 and 75, and becomes a liquid when cooled again. The team says that hydrogen bonds are responsible for this novel behaviour.

Ready for the scientific details?

Plazanet and colleagues prepared a liquid solution containing a-cyclodextrine (alpha-CD), water and 4-methylpyridine (4MP). Cyclodextrines are cyclic structures containing hydroxyl end groups that can form hydrogen bonds with either the 4MP or water molecules.

At room temperature, up to 300 grams of alpha-CD can be dissolved in a litre of 4MP. The resulting solution is homogenous and transparent, but it becomes a milky-white solid when heated. The temperature at which it becomes a solid falls as the concentration of alpha-CD increases.

Neutron-scattering studies revealed that the solid phase is a "sol-gel" system in which the formation of hydrogen bonds between the alpha-CD and the 4MP leads to an ordered, rigid structure. At lower temperatures, however, the hydrogen bonds tend to break and reform within the alpha-CD, which results in the solution becoming a liquid again.

The research work has been published by The Journal of Chemical Physics in its September 15, 2004 issue under the name "Freezing on heating of liquid solutions." Here is a link to the abstract.

We report a reversible liquid-solid transition upon heating of a simple solution composed of a-cyclodextrine (alpha-CD), water, and 4-methylpyridine. These solutions are homogeneous and transparent at ambient temperature and solidify when heated to temperatures between 45 and 75. Quasielastic and elastic neutron scattering show that molecular motions are slowed down in the solid and that crystalline order is established. The solution "freezes on heating." This process is fully reversible, on cooling the solid melts. A rearrangement of hydrogen bonds is postulated to be responsible for the observed phenomenon.

If you are interested by the subject, visit a university library, or buy the article for $22.

And if you expect me to tell you how this discovery will modify our lives, you're going to be disappointed. I've not a slightest idea about it, even if I find fascinating that scientists always find new ways to break rules and shake our certitudes.

[Additional note for physicists: I've been forced to use the "alpha-CD" notation here, because neither my publishing software nor my browsers seem to be able to understand the correct notation, which is "CD."]

Sources: Belle Dumé, PhysicsWeb, September 24, 2004; The Journal of Chemical Physics, September 15, 2004, Volume 121, Issue 11, pp. 5031-5034 Netcraft confirms *BSD is dying. 6:25:24 PM Permalink Comments [0] Trackback [0] Technorati about this page and this post

What a shocker... (2, Funny)

RobotPanda (812532) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349730)

The French have been freezing up when things get heated for years.

Now we can buy (5, Funny)

Wizzy Wig (618399) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349733)

a bag of "Hot Cubes" to keep the coffee warm.

Re:Now we can buy (1)

EvilSporkMan (648878) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349831)

You don't want this stuff in your coffee...organic chemicals + you = death.

Re:Now we can buy hot cubes (1)

dat00ket (249468) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349941)

You already can.

Sort of.

Have you ever seen those little novelty square rocks for sale? Cutesy "on the rocks" rocks? You put them in the fridge and then use them in your drinks instead of ice. Actually quite practical since they don't water down your drink.

I don't see why you couldn't heat them up instead.

Damn Frenchies... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349735)

They have to be contrarians everywhere...

Assassins take note! (4, Interesting)

Twisted Grind (815318) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349745)

The temperature at which it becomes a solid falls as the concentration of áCD increases.

So...if you were to put this in someone's bloodstream with the right concentration, you could cause it to solidify once it reached standard body temperature...

The Sci Fi angle... (2, Interesting)

Wizzy Wig (618399) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349801)

Isn't this how "The Andromeda Strain" did it's dastardly work? Turning the blood into a solid crystaline polymer?

Re:The Sci Fi angle... (1)

Twisted Grind (815318) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349851)

I *knew* I'd heard of that somewhere before! Thanks for clearing that up =^_^=

Re:Assassins take note! (3, Funny)

EvilSporkMan (648878) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349853)

Putting it in someone's bloodstream would probably kill them ANYWAY - wouldn't cheaper poison be easier?

Re:Assassins take note! (1)

Twisted Grind (815318) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349917)

Easier? Easier? *sniff* Where's your sense of style? If you wanted easy, you could always just push someone out of a tall building...although combine it with this...it'd be veddi interesting to see someone shatter instead of splat ^_~

Re:Assassins take note! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349856)

Not with this particular liquid. Normal body temperature is around 37 degrees celsius.

Re:Assassins take note! (1)

Epistax (544591) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349870)

Some snake venom basically does that, although I'm pretty sure the reaction is entirely chemical independent of temperature.

Re:Assassins take note! (1)

mm0mm (687212) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349924)

make a glass of cocktail with this liquid and have someone drink at party. share some intimate moment with the prey in a hot bath. s/he might experience the worst constipation of the century.

Gotta say it... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349748)

Hell has officially frozen over now.

Heat shield? (5, Insightful)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349750)

I don't know much about physics, but could something like this be used as a heat shield of some kind? Like, where the shield is basically considered turned off when it is in the liquid state. Then when it hits a certain overload temperature, it turns to a solid and thus blocks (some of) the heat exchange?

Re:Heat shield? (5, Informative)

novakyu (636495) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349857)

I don't know much about physics, but could something like this be used as a heat shield of some kind? Like, where the shield is basically considered turned off when it is in the liquid state. Then when it hits a certain overload temperature, it turns to a solid and thus blocks (some of) the heat exchange?

That would probably depend on the property of the solid that forms when the solution is heated (is it a good insulator? what are its structural properties?), but I can think of one related application: temperature-controlled switch.

The solution is transparent to visible light, whereas the solid that forms is not. Since this process depends on the temperature and is reversible, it's very simple to design a circuit (using a LED and phototransistor or some sort of photo-detector) that works as temperature-dependent switch. From what the article says,

The temperature at which it becomes a solid falls as the concentration of CD increases.

it should be possible to tweak the turn-on temperature to a degree.

But then, this is not anything new--as far as dependence on temperature goes, there are many other materials that are probably more reliable (the only thing novel about this would be that its dependence is backward.)

Back to the topic, yeah, it can probably be used as heat shield in a limited capacity: i.e. if it turns out that the liquid is transparent to infrared radiation while the solid isn't, this can be used as natural temperature-controlled infrared radiation shield (but of course, it will still be subject to heating due to other methods, like...conduction via the solid itself, unless the resulting solid turns out to be similar to styroform).

Re:Heat shield? (1)

Bender_ (179208) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349904)

Since this process depends on the temperature and is reversible, it's very simple to design a circuit (using a LED and phototransistor or some sort of photo-detector) that works as temperature-dependent switch

It would be far simpler to exploit the temperature dependence of the LED or the transistor, or maybe an even more simple device that is made for temperature sensing.

Re:Heat shield? (1)

absurdhero (614828) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349869)

Why are you assuming that the material's conductive properties change when it becomes solid? Do you know something about aCD and/or 4MP that the rest of us don't?

Re:Heat shield? (2, Interesting)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349874)

The interesting thing about that application is that the shield could reform when things cool down. If it were an ablative shield (takes damage), then you could potentially have it fix itself between uses.

Re:Heat shield? (1)

La Gris (531858) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349947)

Or may be it can be used to protect from projectiles (bullet proof).

As the projectile hit the liquid surface with significant speed and energy, it tur rapidly into heat. Then the projectile enconter increasing resistance as it enter the material. As the material solidify and the heat propagate, it may dissipate the pressure from a single point to a very large surface.

Mmmmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349752)

Like, let's say, mud?

The Law (1)

TheClassic (816274) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349764)

If it breaks the law, the law was wrong all along, right?

Re:The Law (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349782)

No. That law in the strictest sense only applies to pure substances.

Gets hard when you heat it? (5, Insightful)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349768)

Why do I see a new line of sex toys being based on this?

Or at least a splint that packs down small but that remains rigid when in contact with a warm body.

Um.. Maybe that would apply to a sex toy ;)

Re:Gets hard when you heat it? (4, Funny)

srcosmo (73503) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349827)

I'm not sure, but one would probably have to be pretty damn horny to heat the thing up to 45C...
:-/

Re:Gets hard when you heat it? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349835)

At 45C it's going to be more than a bit uncomfortable to be on your skin so I doubt either of those will be likely applications. If it turns opaque when it goes solid (assuming it's mostly transparant when liquid) then it might have possible use as a thermally sensitive solar regulator.

Re:Gets hard when you heat it? (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349843)

Warm Body??!! at 45~75 Degrees Centigrade?

Re:Gets hard when you heat it? (1)

Twisted Grind (815318) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349876)

The temperature at which it becomes a solid falls as the concentration of áCD increases.

I hate to repeat myself, but I think this little property here is what makes the compound good for several *ahem* bodily applications.

You can whine about application... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349772)

but it's cheaper to heat than to cool.

Useless? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349773)

Still... No cure for cancer.

security system (1)

IceFox (18179) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349776)

You could make a neat security system will only work when "heated" and solid otherwise it wont let you in.

actually . . . (4, Funny)

ir0b0t (727703) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349779)

I think I've been drinking this stuff out of the coffee pot in my office for several years now.

Missing some info here (5, Interesting)

Hockney Twang (769594) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349791)

It's a solid at those temperatures, what is it at higher temps? Liquid again? Does it have two melting points? At what temp does it vaporize? Does it freeze at some point below the normal low-end melting point? At 0 degrees Kelvin, it's definitely a solid, somewhere above that, a liquid, then a solid again, then a liquid again, then a vapor? Maybe.

Re:Missing some info here (4, Informative)

dat00ket (249468) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349884)

"At 0 degrees Kelvin, it's definitely a solid"

I wouldn't be too sure about that.

Bose-Einstein Condensate [wikipedia.org]
Superfluids [wikipedia.org]

First rule of physics: When you're dealing with extremes, things get funky.

Re:Missing some info here (2, Interesting)

iabervon (1971) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349912)

It is not a uniform substance, but rather two chemicals dissolved in water. The article doesn't say specifically, but I'd guess at higher and lower temperatures, the chemicals come out of solution and/or undergo irreversible chemical changes. It's a bit like jello except with the gel and the solution behaviors backwards; freezing it or boiling it causes it to separate and behave normally.

Applications? (2, Interesting)

Nordberg (218317) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349794)

Get ready for the soon to be classic -cyclodextrine in the oilpan trick.

I'm not sure this is that new (4, Interesting)

bombastinator (812664) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349802)

I remember either Porsche or Volkswagen having a limited slip clutch that consisted of two perforated disks set next to each other in a container of special goo. If the wheels slipped it caused the disks to rotate at different speeds and the friction caused enough heat to turn the goo solid. I can't remember why they quit using it but it was more than a few years ago. I think it was going into their 4 wheel drive race cars. Just a memory though I got no hard data. Anyone know more about this?

Close--check a Mitsu 3000GT VR4 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349922)

close.

several cars use a "viscous coupling" system, which is what you're thinking of. the use a system of disks that can rotate against eachother in a silicon fluid. when the disks shear fast enough, the friction heats the fluid. it then expands and the PRESURE locks the plates together.

This produces a limited slip differential that is very controllable and low on wear.

check out the system in a Mitsu 3000GT VR4 for more details.

Breaks the laws of physics? (4, Informative)

mike_lynn (463952) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349808)

Which law would this be? The one that says solids melt into liquids at higher temperatures? Oh wait, there is no such law - thanks to something called Sublimiation where solids go straight to a gas (like dry ice).

This is not an example of a new found element with impossible thermal properties. This is an example of materials and molecular chemistry in action. This works because it follows the laws of physics.

Re:Breaks the laws of physics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349868)

This works because it follows the laws of physics.

Duh.

Good work but not revolutionary. (2, Interesting)

Compuser (14899) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349820)

Reverse melting has been known for a long time.
People have been studying vortex systems that
do that. This is only new because it's a chemical
compound (rather than say electrons) that does this.
No physics breakthrough here. Maybe chemical
engineering breakthrough but that's it.

Space shuttle? (4, Interesting)

Bin_jammin (684517) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349832)

I wonder if it would be possible to change the temperature at which it re-liquifies, and if it becomes harder or more dense at higher temperatures. Seems like if that were the case, it would make for a good tiling material for the skin of a space shuttle

mmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349836)

Now I really want a Creme Brulee...

Roland Piquepaille (4, Funny)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349838)

I vote for a new "Roland Piquepaille" section, he should get a good amount of advertisement revenue from his daily submits, always with "read more" links just quoting the original story.

It's a conspiracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349951)

With other submitters, Slashdot seems to moderate and even sometimes actually edit the submissions. It's like the Slashdot moderators get kickbacks for blog-hyping.. which wouldn't be so bad except most of his submissions are mediocre.

I don't know chemistry (4, Funny)

Anonymous Writer (746272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349839)

Plazanet and colleagues prepared a liquid solution containing ?-cyclodextrine (?CD), water and 4-methylpyridine (4MP).

Is it edible?

Damnable Hydrogen Bonds (3, Funny)

softspokenrevolution (644206) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349845)

Damn you hydrogen bonding, damn you shaking up our worlds with your heat freezing solids.

New meaning to the term lock up (3, Interesting)

Duct Tape Pro (318982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349852)

I sure hope it's non-conductive so I can put it as a coolant in my computer. Computer gets too hot, it turns solid and the computer "locks up". Ha!

Seriously though, if this stuff interacts well with other substances (i.e. doesn't explode, melt, send it to another dimension) then it could feasibly have applications where it would solidify around objects once they got too hot, thereby stopping their motion. And since the article says you can adjust the solidifying (freezing?) point based on its concentration, it could be tailor-made for different devices. This probably won't happen though because I'm guessing this stuff is probably expensive to make and does who-knows-what to human tissue

It's stuff like this... (1)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349861)

...that gives me hope for a room temperature superconductor. Heating liquids into solids? Hey! You never know!

Nothing new here... (0, Redundant)

blackholepcs (773728) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349863)

My wife has prior art on this one. Get her pissed off (there by raising her body temperature), and her blood turns to ice.

Weapons technology. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349880)

I wonder what the ballistic armor implications of this development are.

I can imagine liquid armor in some sort of gel packs. Normally it would allow free movement to the wearer - but it would instantly turn solid from the energy of the impact when a high-speed projectile (eg: a bullet) tries to penetrate it.

Interesting..

Re:Weapons technology. (1)

EvilSporkMan (648878) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349952)

And then it would break.

Useful material to have when printing out organs (5, Interesting)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349890)

This article [newscientist.com] describes a similar material that is liquid below 20 C and solid above 32 C. Medical researchers hope to use it if they are able to perfect 3D printers that generate organs by spraying cells onto a substrate. The gel is used to reserve open spaces for blood vessels. Once the organ has been formed they cool it and the solid turns to liquid and runs out.

BTM

Bah, I do this all the time... (2, Funny)

MrIcee (550834) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349897)

...with my oven and fridge. I put some basic liquid ingredients into a pan, place the pan into my heated oven where, once properly forgotten, it turns into a solid.

Placing the solid into my fridge, and again forgetting it for say, 2 or 3 weeks, reduces the solid back into a liquid.

Though I havn't personally tried it, I'm fairly certain that if I were to return the liquid back to the oven, and again properly forget about it, that I would again get a solid.

Breaks the rules? (3, Informative)

Epsillon (608775) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349908)

The rules of freezing, melting and vaporising (yes, I missed out sublimation) are not broken here. Chemists have known for some time that certain reactions can both only take place at a certain range of temperatures and reverse outside that range. This stuff does not freeze. It simply undergoes a reaction which bonds two types of molecule together to form a cohesive structure. The "normal" rules still apply to both compounds, but the new compound has a higher freezing point. That the reaction to form the new compound is reversible is also nothing new.

Analogy: Water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius, sodium chloride (salt) much higher at 804 Celsius. Add the two together to form an aqueous solution of sodium chloride and it lowers the freezing temperature, contrary to the properties of both substances. Heat it, and evaporate the water off and you end up with solid NaCl.

Sorry, but this has been hyped beyond recognition.

Astroturf Alert! (3, Informative)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349921)

Warning, this Roland fellow submits (and they get accepted!) stories all the time, which link to his personal blog site. All his posts have the same format. Stop feeding him page views!

Re: But what about a liquid that becomes solid whe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349935)

But what about a liquid that becomes solid when it's heated?

hey!
that's me!!!

Garnier Fructise (1)

imstanny (722685) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349936)

Hasn't Garnier Fructise been using this stuff for a while - the name certainly sounds french. the advertisements claim that "it strenghtens your hair by 4x." You'll be able to grease your hair with that stuff and hang weights from your hair, like superman does at some museum.

Whigs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10349942)

The way I see it, the Whigs were a political party and the rest of ya are a bunch of horny nerdy cheezy-mah-neasy, slimeballs.

We've been in the Matrix ya blind bats, and this is just another thing to show all you science-swearing penis whistlers that we don't know jack daniels about the world and all ya'll are a bunch of deer humping weenies with pocket protectors and tape on your glasses thinking you have it down pact.

A HEATED LIQUID CAN TURN INTO A SOLID....you hear me!? DO YOU hear me? Good, now go plant a seed in your bum and watch a tree sprout out from it and realize you don't know shit from the face you see in the mirror about the universe.

I don't give a hootin' sweet good feathery damn what sort of degree you have.

Now go burn in the pits of Gehenna.

OT: what browser does he use?? (1)

ccozan (754085) | more than 9 years ago | (#10349945)

[Additional note for physicists: I've been forced to use the "alpha-CD" notation here, because neither my publishing software nor my browsers seem to be able to understand the correct notation, which is "CD."]
i've just checked on my Firefox, it works. Or is he using....oh,no!!!
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