Can Water Or Any Liquid Be Compressed?
Reading questions and answers as to “Is water a good or bad conductor of electricity?” set me to thinking about whether water or any other liquid can be compressed.
So I searched a little and came up with the answer.
Under Normal Conditions Water Can’t Be Compressed
A simple test.
Fill a sandwich bag with water and put a straw into it,.
What happens when you squeeze the bag?
Instead of being compressed, it shoots out of the straw!
And What About Other Liquids?
Incompressibility is a common property of all liquids, but water is especially incompressible!
Think about garden hoses, water pistols and fountains, if it could be compressed then they wouldn’t work.
So Can Water Can Be Compressed?
If you squeeze it hard enough, then yes, it can be compressed, but not by much.
Just imagine a mile deep in the ocean.
At that depth, the weight of the water above, pushing downwards, is about 150 times normal atmospheric pressure, but even with that much pressure, water compresses by less than 1%.
How Much Can Water Be Compressed?
Just to give you and idea, for it to cut through a stone tremendous pressures are needed.
A pump is used to pressurize the water in a container at pressure values up to 90,000 pounds/square inch (psi) and it’s then shot it out of the nozzle at speeds up to 600 mph.
Can Water Be Compressed Into A Solid Form?
The simple answer of course is, "Yes you can".
Obviously you can turn water into a solid simply by taking heat away.
The more relevant answer is, "Yes but you’d need a ridiculous amount of force to make water into a solid, but it is possible".
When this happens a different form of ice is formed, called ice IV, which is a different crystal structure to conventional ice.
You can achieve with a pressure of about 2 Gigapascals, or about 20,000 atmospheres, which is the same pressure you get under 20 kilometers of ice or water.
And if that exists, then you can produce ice at normal room temperature.
So Can Water Be Compressed?
The short answer is "Yes it can".
But the longer answer is, "Yes it can, but only with great difficulty".