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Keywords:

  • ice;
  • infrared radiation;
  • laser heating;
  • molecular dynamics;
  • phase transitions
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Cold as ice: Molecular dynamics simulation provides snapshots of a melting ice crystal (see picture). The laser pulse heats up the system, and the energy is absorbed in the OH bonds. After a few picoseconds, the energy is transferred to rotational and translational energy, causing the crystal to melt. The melting starts as a nucleation process, and even long after the first melting is initialized, pockets of crystalline structures can be found.