AUG 05, 2016 3:01 PM PDT

7 Compounds that Break the Rules of Physics

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

The rules governing how matter behaves seem grounded enough, even some of these laws can get very complicated, very quickly. For example, high temperature usually melts things whereas high pressure usually compresses things. But for some substances, the laws of physics don't seem to apply to them.

In one extreme case, scientists found that zinc cyanide had a behavior that was seemingly contradictory to the simplest laws of physics. That is, when zinc cyanide is squeezed at high pressure, it actually became bigger instead of smaller. Scientists who discovered this phenomenon described it as: "It's like squeezing a stone and forming a giant sponge." It turns out this rebel substance can rearrange its bonds and molecular framework under high pressure, and thus can turn itself into a totally different state.

Watch the video to learn six more substances that defy physics!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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