Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Throwing out the textbook: Salt surprises chemists
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 23, 2013

This is the structure of NaCl3, courtesy of Artem Oganov. Credit: Artem Oganov.

Table salt, sodium chloride, is one of the first chemical compounds that schoolchildren learn. New research from a team including Carnegie's Alexander Goncharov shows that under certain high-pressure conditions, plain old salt can take on some surprising forms that violate standard chemistry predictions and may hold the key to answering questions about planet formation.

The team, which also included Carnegie's Elissaios Stavrou and Maddury Somayazulu, among others, combined new computational methods and structure-prediction algorithms with high-pressure experiments to study the range of changes that simple sodium chloride undergoes under pressure.

They predict some unanticipated reaction results under high pressure that could help geochemists scientists reconcile ongoing mysteries involving minerals found in planetary cores.

The team first used advanced algorithms to identify an array of possible stable structural outcomes from compressing rock salt.

They then attempted to verify these predictions, using a diamond anvil to put salt mixed with molecular chlorine or metallic sodium under high pressured.

"We discovered that the standard chemistry textbook rules broke down," Goncharov said.

The well-understood rock salt, NaCl, turned into stable compounds of Na3Cl, Na2Cl, Na3Cl2 and NaCl7, all of which have highly unusual chemical bonding and electronic properties.

"If this simple system is capable of turning into such a diverse array of compounds under high-pressure conditions, then others likely are, too," Goncharov added. "This could help answer outstanding questions about early planet cores, as well as to create new materials with practical uses."

The research team also included lead author Weiwei Zhang of China Agricultural University; Artem Oganov, Qiang Zhu, Eddine Boulfelfel, and Andriy Lyakhov of State University of New York Stony Brook; Vitali Prakapenka of the University of Chicago; and Zuzana Konopkova of Photon Science DESY.


Related Links
Carnegie Institution
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Salt under pressure is not NaCl
Moscow, Russia (SPX) Dec 23, 2013
In the very beginning of the school chemistry course, we are told of NaCl as an archetypal ionic compound. Being less electronegative, sodium loses its electron to chlorine, which, following the "octet rule", thus acquires the 8-electron electronic configuration of a noble gas. All the rules predict NaCl to be the only possible compound formed by chlorine and sodium. The research team led ... read more

Wake Up Yutu

Chang'e 3 Lander and Rover From Above

Chang'e-3 satellite payload APXS obtained its first spectrum of lunar regolith

China's moon rover "sleeps" through lunar night

More than 1,000 chosen for one-way Mars reality-TV mission

'Mars One' will reveal if there is life outside Earth

Clues from Orbit Aiding Exploration Of Opportunity Rover

Decade-Old Rover Adventure Continues on Mars and Earth

Only lawyers profit as tech giants go to war over patents

Astronauts Practice Launching in NASA's New Orion Spacecraft

Space trips open to Chinese travelers

Work on NASA's New Orion Spacecraft Progresses as Engineers Pivot to 2014

China launches communications satellite for Bolivia

China's moon rover continues lunar survey after photographing lander

China's Yutu "naps", awakens and explores

Deep space monitoring station abroad imperative

CU-Boulder to fly antibiotic experiment on ants to space station

Station Cosmonauts Complete Spacewalk to Deploy Cameras

Antares and Cygnus Launch Update

Expedition 38 Sends New Year's Greetings on Off-Duty Day

Antares Launch Scheduled For Jan 7

Russian Rocket Puts Telecoms Satellite Into Orbit

The Athena-Fidus satellite is readied for Arianespace first heavy-lift mission of 2014

Boeing, Energia Achieve Mixed Results in Counterclaims

NASA's Hubble Sees Cloudy Super-Worlds With Chance for More Clouds

Researchers use Hubble Telescope to reveal cloudy weather on alien world

Using an Atmosphere to Weigh a Planet

Gaia Mission Could Help Map Exoplanets

Throwing out the textbook: Salt surprises chemists

3D-printed components flown in British fighter jet

Mission to test laser communications across space distances a success

Large-aperture planar lens antennas with gradient refractive index

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement