Skip to comments.Water-air interface barely there - Transition zone extremely thin
Posted on 06/09/2011 2:17:01 PM PDT by neverdem
Where sea meets sky, there are lots of water molecules with an identity crisis. About a quarter of the H2O in waters uppermost layer cant decide whether to be liquid or gas: One hydrogen atom stays in the drink while the other pokes up, vibrating in the air.
This layer of molecular ambiguity is extremely thin and has little or no effect on the water below it, new data reported June 9 in Nature show. Right beneath the liquids surface, water molecules go about their business just as if the air werent there.
That may seem like a dull discovery, but the find is important, says Pavel Jungwirth of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Prague, who wrote a commentary on the work in the same issue of Nature.
In some ways this is a negative result, Jungwirth says. Sometimes a negative result can be very positive.
Insights into the behavior of water molecules at this superthin surface layer may give scientists a better understanding of the bonding and behavior of pollutants or other compounds intermingling at the surface. The new data might also improve models of waters interactions with the atmosphere and within cells, says physical chemist Dennis Hore of University of Victoria in British Columbia, who was not involved in the study.
The finding that water molecules with one hydrogen waving in the air have little effect on the arrangement of all the H2O below refutes an idea thats been bandied about for ages that water molecules in bulk below will fall into lockstep, organizing themselves into orderly layers, says Jungwirth.
After the first layer, its all over, he says. A lot of people still subscribe to this long-range idea. But this shows very clearly that you dont have long-range order in. . ..
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencenews.org ...
Surface tension raises it’s forgotten head?
So it either is or isn’t, there is no in between.
As a scientist, I am embarrassed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything good come of a grant.
Water evaporates. Who knew?
“Water still puzzles scientists” - just go to any water fountain at any research facility and you’ll find dozens of people in white lab coats going “oooh!” and “ahhhh!”.
I will be asking for a grant to study why you can get 10 pounds of sh#t in a 5 pound bag, should be good for $250 large.