We Found Another State of Matter: The Supersolid!
Scientists have created, yet another state of matter called a supersolid! But what is it, and what does it do?
The researchers who created this new state of matter took a Bose-Einstein Condensate, made of sodium gas, and used lasers to cool it to near absolute zero. The atoms are moving extremely slowly. A BEC is a special phase of matter created in 2001 winning researchers the Nobel Prize for Physics.
Once cooled to a BEC, the sodium flowed with zero friction. It's like a superfluid. Which is awesome. This BEC was also superconductive, meaning its electrons moved through it with zero resistance.
The scientists kept cooling that sodium and at some point, it arranged into a non-crystalline "solid!" The scientists called it a superfluid flow with "long-range spatial periodicity of [a] solid."
Essentially, think of it like a coffee cup filled with a frictionless, superconducting, gel that if you could stir would never stop going around. The "fluid" didn't suddenly become hard, instead, it's not exactly solid - think like... gel. It's a fluid but it behaves like a solid.