It’s easy to assume there’s nothing new to learn about liquids. John Proctor explains just how weird liquids can be at high pressures and why this work could shed light on planetary interiors
When I read scientific papers, I often end up pondering questions that are – in the grand scheme of things – mere footnotes and details. Quite simply, I lose sight of the big issues. Fortunately, one benefit of teaching physics to undergraduates, as I do, is that it lets me take a broader perspective. Take the way that textbooks deal with the fundamental differences between the states of matter. While these works contain neat and cohesive descriptions of gases and solids, many struggle with liquids.
Consider David Tabor’s classic book Gases,...