Mar 19, 2017

Scientists Just Found an Unexpected Property in a Solid Metal: It ‘Remembers’ Its Liquid State

Posted by in category: materials

Researchers have probed samples of metal bismuth, and found a completely unexpected property — under certain conditions, the solid metal can retain a type of ‘structural memory’ of its liquid state.

The fact that scientists have found a new property of metals is exciting enough. But this also means solid bismuth can go from being repelled by a magnetic field (diamagnetic) to being attracted to a magnetic field (ferromagnetic), which could lead to a whole new way of creating materials with unique properties.

The phases of matter we learn about in high school, such as liquid, gas, and solid, are all defined by the way molecules in matter are arranged depending on external conditions. For example, liquid water freezes and contracts together, expanding into ice, or relaxes and boils into steam.

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