from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Water is one of the most important substances for life. Although it’s a pretty simple molecule, water has some surprising and complex characteristics. (eg. Ice floats on water.) We see water everyday, but we probably don’t think too much about its unique chemical properties (ahem, it’s not organic, but it’s technically true that it doesn’t contain fat or sugar). Here are just a few more scientific tidbits on dihydrogen monoxide.
- Water can be supercooled well below its typical freezing point, but its structure at temperatures between -41 °C and -113 °C hasn’t been studied until recently. The trick is using femtosecond X-ray laser pulses and shooting them at supercooled water droplets just before the water freezes. [url]
- According to computer modeling, supercooled (virtual) water can split into two different phases. Virtual water molecules under certain pressures and temperatures can assemble in (at least) two different ways, forming a less dense and more dense phase. Finding experimental evidence of this prediction is the next step…. [url]
- Nebraska Ice is the nickname for “Two Dimensional Bilayer Ice I” — a form of water that contracts instead of expanding when freezing. Three dimensional ice has 15 known crystalline forms, and two dimensional ice has 2 known frozen structures. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.