. Earth Science News .

Weird world of water gets a little weirder
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 11, 2011

File image.

Strange, stranger, strangest! To the weird nature of one of the simplest chemical compounds - the stuff so familiar that even non-scientists know its chemical formula - add another odd twist. Scientists are reporting that good old H2O, when chilled below the freezing point, can shift into a new type of liquid. The report appears in ACS' Journal of Physical Chemistry B.

Pradeep Kumar and H. Eugene Stanley explain that water is one weird substance, exhibiting more than 80 unusual properties, by one count, including some that scientists still struggle to understand. For example, water can exist in all three states of matter (solid, liquid,gas) at the same time.

And the forces at its surface enable insects to walk on water and water to rise up from the roots into the leaves of trees and other plants.

In another strange turn, scientists have proposed that water can go from being one type of liquid into another in a so-called "liquid-liquid" phase transition, but it is impossible to test this with today's laboratory equipment because these things happen so fast.

That's why Kumar and Stanley used computer simulations to check it out.

They found that when they chilled liquid water in their simulation, its propensity to conduct heat decreases, as expected for an ordinary liquid.

But, when they lowered the temperature to about 54 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, the liquid water started to conduct heat even better in the simulation.

Their studies suggest that below this temperature, liquid water undergoes sharp but continuous structural changes whereas the local structure of liquid becomes extremely ordered - very much like ice.

These structural changes in liquid water lead to increase of heat conduction at lower temperatures.

The researchers say that this surprising result supports the idea that water has a liquid-liquid phase transition.

Related Links
American Chemical Society
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Drinking water from plastic pipes - is it harmful?
Oslo, Norway (SPX) Nov 10, 2011
Pipe-in-pipe systems are now commonly used to distribute water in many Norwegian homes. The inner pipe for drinking water is made of a plastic called cross-linked polyethylene (PEX). Are these pipes harmful to health and do they affect the taste and odour of drinking water? Previous international studies have shown that plastic pipes can release substances that give an unwanted taste and o ... read more

Thaksin keeps low profile in Thai flood crisis

Japan lower house approves $156bn recovery budget

Thai opposition challenges PM over flood budget

Tokyo city starts radiation tests on food in shops

New metamaterial allows transmission gain while retaining negative refraction property

iPhone 4S making frenzied debut in 15 new markets

Are electron tweezers possible

NASA Develops Super-Black Material That Absorbs Light Across Multiple Wavelength Bands

Weird world of water gets a little weirder

Brazil court refuses to stop work on Amazon dam

Brazil stirs up furor over giant dam, slum

Hey bacterial slime get off of my boat

International Team to Drill Beneath Massive Antarctic Ice Shelf

Preparing for a thaw: How Arctic microbes respond to a warming world

Chinese tycoon one step closer to Icelandic land purchase

Canada bolsters protection of polar bears

How parasites modify plants to attract insects

Water dispute threatens last Iraq commercial farm

China food chain shares up after buyout gets OK

Nitrogen Fertilizers' Impact on Lawn Soils

Flood-ravaged Thailand prays to water goddess

Rescuers hunt for survivors in fresh Turkey quake

Thai floods expected to hit PC shipments into 2012

Clinton offers flood help to Thailand

US condemns bombing by Sudan Armed Forces

S.Sudan accuses Khartoum of deadly air strike on camp

Sudan beefing up border air strike capacity: monitors

Climate to widen sleeping sickness risk to southern Africa

The selective advantage of being on the edge of a migration wave

Asian couples rush to wed on auspicious date

Erasing the signs of aging in cells is now a reality

The benefits of being the first to settle


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement