(ORDO NEWS) — For the past decades, scientists have believed that the Earth’s core consists of a liquid outer core covering a solid inner core.
However, a new study by scientists from China indicates that the Earth’s inner core consists of a peculiar substance that is somewhere between a liquid and a solid state. The results of the study were published February 10 in the journal Nature.
Since the inner core was discovered in 1936, what lies even deeper has remained a mystery.
Despite the fact that physicists have determined that the inner core is rich in iron, they do not know exactly what other elements are there and in what quantities.
A new study from the Institute of Geochemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGCAS) points to an unusual substance in the inner core.
The study also reports that intense heat or pressure at the deepest point of the Earth triggers supersonic matter, a substance found somewhere between a liquid and a solid.
Under superionic conditions, liquid-like light elements are highly diffusible, while iron atoms remain largely stable.
Chinese researchers used computer simulations to show how lighter elements move through the Earth’s inner core while iron stays put.
With each new exploration, the Earth’s core continues to bring new discoveries and cause controversy among scientists.
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