Here’s how ice may get so slippery 

The surface of ice is a slippery subject.

For more than 160 years, scientists have been debating the quirks of ice’s exterior. Frozen water is coated in a layer of molecules that behave like a liquid. A new experiment visualizes the surface of ice and hints at the origins of its quasi-liquid layer. 

Ice’s melty coating appears even at temperatures well below freezing, a phenomenon known as “premelting.” That layer acts as a lubricant, explaining why ice is slippery even under frigid conditions. But ever since the idea of a liquidlike coating was first pondered by British scientist Michael Faraday in the 1850s, ice’s unusual surface has remained poorly

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