Chapter 8. Surfer Profanity
He looked at the water in the tube, his control sample.
“Dude, what is up with you?” He asked the test tube that held the clear water. In the second test tube he used a syringe to slowly deposit distilled water, pure to an absolute neutral pH, five milliliters worth. Not a lot.
In the lab, where he sat, he plunged it into a bath of liquid nitrogen, the cryogenic liquid at minus three-hundred twenty-one degrees instantly froze the water as he sat in the lab. He kept it quenched for three minutes, as timed by the digital countdown timer and then he pulled the vial out.
Clear. No discoloration.
The experiment sample was frozen outside, the same sized tube, sealed in the lab. The only difference was they had carried it out the hallway to the lunch patio and frozen on a bench there with blue sky overhead.
It was black.
He used the tunable laser spectrometer from the infrared through to UV showed it to have greater than seventy-percent light absorbing in all EM spectrums. Same experiment in the hallway proved absorption less dark, on the order of fifty-five percent absorbing of all visible light.
Grr… This frustrated him.
Under pressure, he froze the water in to a higher pressure and density, achieving ice-II and then ice-VI.
Nothing changed. Still clear.
The black ice had nothing in it when it melted. When he tried to do a mass spec on it, it was as if it knew he was looking.
It was as if the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal was in the ice. By looking at it, he disrupted the thing that made it dark. It knew he was looking and hid. (by looking at the molecular, level he changed the structure, and he could not see the structure as it was before or after he looked, only when he looked did he see what he expected.) No reason for the frozen structure to absorb all light.
Careful freezing the water in an unprotected area in a pressure vessel, leaving him with some glassy water and inside left them with amorphous ice. Assessment of the water in various lights showed the differences from the inside and outside as had happened, before.
But the outside-the-lab water did not change yet what he it had captured.
He found it. Glassy water held the answer, in the chart displayed on his screen.
And he dropped his jaw.
Only in the most remote fantasies did he ever dream of something like this. Entering it into the report, he put his name on the header with more than a little fear.
This was either the end of his career and might as well start the applications going out for a greeting person at a big-box store or he was the Nobel Prize contender of the year.
Niles was not sure which.