We Still Don’t Understand What Water Is, Here’s Why

We Still Don’t Understand What Water Is, Here’s Why

Water is actually really weird—like, way weirder than you probably realize—and our understanding of it might only just be coming to a boil.
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Water can dissolve more solids than any other substance, water has at least 66 properties that differentiate it from most other liquids, and water is almost the only liquid in the universe where the solid form is less dense than the liquid form.

Water is really weird, but it has also made life on Earth possible and all its incredible characteristics exist thanks to the hydrogen bond. Water consists of one oxygen atom bonded to two hydrogen atoms: H20.

In this Elements, we explore a debated school of thought: Is water actually two different liquids instead of one complicated one? And can this hypothesis actually help us explain water’s strange properties? Watch to find out more!

#water #h20 #statesofmatter #oxygen #hydrogen #science #seeker #elements

*Thumbnail Image Credit: Fivos Perakis and Anders Nilsson, Stockholm University*

Read More:

Five Things We Still Don’t Know About Water
“Yes, water is common—in fact, it is the third most common molecule in the universe. But, contrary to Mother’s views, it is also deceptively complex. Here are just a few of the scientific problems related to water that remain open today.”

The Weirdness of Water
“Whether a mixture of two liquids or just one, water’s properties are also fundamental to biology. ‘Water is the thing that gives [nucleic acids] their interesting structure and properties, and it’s the same with proteins,’ says Chaplin. Life itself has flourished because ice is less dense than water, allowing organisms to survive underneath floating ice layers. ‘What is interesting is we are peering into the region where life exists when [water’s anomalous behaviour] pops up,’ says Nilsson. According to his two-state model, it is only at temperatures below 50°C that water becomes a mixture of low- and high-density liquid and this is also the temperature region at which life exists. ‘Is this a coincidence, or is there something significant about that?’ asks Nilsson. ‘We don’t [yet] know.’”

How polarity makes water behave strangely – Christina Kleinberg
“Water is both essential and unique. Many of its particular qualities stem from the fact that it consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen, therefore creating an unequal sharing of electrons. From fish in frozen lakes to ice floating on water, Christina Kleinberg describes the effects of polarity.”

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  1. "Water has greater surface tension that ALMOST ANY OTHER LIQUID."
    This way of imprecise expressions of scientific data isn't doing science any favors.
    And I'm trying hard to be nice, as you are trying to get views and likes. 😀
    Stop science sensationalism.

  2. You forgot to mention another amazing property. That is when ice is compressed, it becomes a liquid again. This is why an ice skater can glide across the ice. The blade of the ice skate concentrates the weight of the person to a very small yet intense area, which causes the top layer of ice to become liquid. If you were to replace water ice with just about any other ice, I do not believe you could skate on it, it would be more like skating on a slab of granite.

  3. this isn't exactly how Anders' team from Stockholm presented it/ concluded from their XFEL experiments (X-ray free electron Laser).. I would suggest the presenter to get directly to the authors before presenting it to the public like this….

  4. The mistake the keeps Nilsson and his team from making any progress is hidden in the ab initio of the paradigm. The error was made by Linus Pauling. Nilsson won't find it because Nilsson won't look at the ab initio, just like all academics. Unfortunately the current paradigm does little more than provide its adherents an excuse not to think. And they take full advantage of it.