Magnetic charm

Japanese researchers have discovered that a strong magnetic field can raise the melting point of ice. The effect is minute but not insignificant say Hideaki Inaba and colleagues at Chiba University. They found that a 6 Tesla field is enough to raise the melting point of ice by 5.6 millikelvin for ordinary water and 21.8 millikelvin for heavy water. Other researchers previously demonstrated that a magnetic field affects water's infra-red spectrum and suggested that it somehow "tightens" the hydrogen bonds. Water is diamagnetic so should not be affected by a magnetic field at all. Inaba's findings add to a growing list of anomalies for water and hint at a magnetic effect on other diamagnetic materials, such as gallium, indium, mercury, and benzene.