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'Floating Bridge' Property of Water Found 191

eldavojohn writes "When exposed to high voltage, water does some interesting things. From the article, 'water in two beakers climbs out of the beakers and crosses empty space to meet, forming the water bridge. The liquid bridge, hovering in space, appears to the human eye to defy gravity. Upon investigating the phenomenon, the scientists found that water was being transported from one beaker to another, usually from the anode beaker to the cathode beaker. The cylindrical water bridge, with a diameter of 1-3 mm, could remain intact when the beakers were pulled apart at a distance of up to 25 mm.'"
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'Floating Bridge' Property of Water Found

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  • by Jarjarthejedi ( 996957 ) <> on Saturday September 29, 2007 @11:25AM (#20793573) Journal
    One would imagine that, firstly, the cell walls could not take too much expansion and would likely ditch a lot of the water, secondly, that the cell walls would return to normal at the same speed as the water (if they matched the expansion, then why not the contractions?) and that, thirdly, one of the biggest cryo problems is that the water surrounding the cells become crystals and pierce the fragile cells, which this does nothing to alleviate.
  • Actually... (Score:2, Informative)

    by moosehooey ( 953907 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @11:26AM (#20793579)
    Actually the problem with freezing isn't the expansion, the cells could stretch enough to allow that. The problem is the ice crystals that tend to slice up the cells like a million tiny rasor blades. A further problem is cracking of the ice while it's going from freezing down to liquid nitrogen temperature.
  • by pclminion ( 145572 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @11:28AM (#20793599)

    Given that helium is a monatomic gas, nonpolar, and far less dense than water, I would have to say... no.

    Oh, and then there's the fact that we already understand superfluid helium pretty damn well.

  • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @11:42AM (#20793705) Journal
    The water in the research at hand is clean (distilled) to a high degree, to avoid ionic conductivity. The water in living cells is VERY conductive and when you use high direct voltages, does Bad Things to these cells.

    Now, high grequency alternating voltage would cause no adverse effect because it would cause for the electric current to flow on the surface of the body, but that's another story, and it does not affect the fluid inside the cells (think Tesla holding a glowing gas discharge lamp in his hand).
  • Full Article Text (Score:1, Informative)

    by echucker ( 570962 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @12:13PM (#20793903) Homepage
    J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 40 (2007) 6112-6114

    The floating water bridge
    Elmar C Fuchs, Jakob Woisetschlager, Karl Gatterer, Eugen Maier, Rene Pecnik, Gert Holler and Helmut Eisenkolbl

    1. Introduction
    Water undoubtedly is the most important chemical substance
    in the world. Many attempts have been made to measure
    or calculate the structure of liquid water beyond the scale
    of the H2O molecule. This is a difficult task because of
    the hydrogen bonding network which itself is a subject
    of various experimental and theoretical studies. It is being
    held responsible for many of water's special properties and
    is also the reason why water must not be treated as a simple
    liquid [1, 2]. The interaction of water with electric fields has
    been intensely explored over the last years, e.g. in context with
    electrospray-ionization mass spectroscopy (ESI-MS) [3], but
    also unusual phenomena have recently been reported, e.g. the
    electric field driven self-propulsion of a water droplet on a solid
    surface [4]. In this paper we report another unusual effect of
    liquid water exposed to a dc electric field: the floating water
    bridge. The first presentation of the water bridge was published
    by the ETH Zurich via the worldwide web [5].

    2. Experimental details
    The set-up consists of two beakers (100 mL) filled with triply
    deionized water. When exposed to a high dc voltage by putting
    electrodes into the beakers, water forms a stable, cylindrical
    bridge between the two beakers. For the experiments presented
    herein the beakers were set on an even plane, one was fixed,
    the other movable and controlled by a step motor, and both
    beakers were separated by 1 mm. The beakers were filled
    with triply deionized water (R = 18M&#1;cm) such that
    the water surface was about 3mm below the beaker's edge.
    Now one electrode was charged with 15 kV, the other was
    set to ground potential. A Phywe 'Hochsp.Netzger. 25kV'
    (Order No 13671.93) or alternatively a high-voltage generator
    using a LinFinity SG3524 pulse width modulator was used with
    a 24 nF ceramic capacitor set parallel to the electrodes. The
    voltage was measured by a potential divider of 500M&#1;/500 k&#1;
    to ground level. Since the voltage generators provide a limited
    current output, the electric current, which was measured with
    an oscilloscope, was stable at 0.5 mA. After a short electric
    discharge, which was build up between the two water surfaces,
    a water connection formed spontaneously between the two
    beakers; the water moved up the glass walls and built a water
    bridge. This effect is shown in figures 1(a) and (b).
    All experiments were performed under normal laboratory
    atmosphere using triply distilled water.
    High speed visualization was done using a colour Kodak
    Motion Corder SR-Series 1000 (Eastman Kodak Company,
    San Diego, California), including a second on-board storage
    and a 8-48mm zoom objective. For direct and indirect
    illumination two 24 V/150W halogen lamps were used.
    For visualization of high frequency density oscillations
    inside the bridge a green Laser Pointer (Leadlight Technology
    Inc., Tao-Yuan, Taiwan,5mWSeries GLP-C0P1-05)was used.
    To record the surface temperature along the water
    bridge, an Inframetrics Model 760 Infrared Thermal Imaging
    Radiometer (Inframetrics, North Billerica, Massachusetts)was
    used, including a 20&#9702; IR lens. Operated at a 50Hz mode and in
    the 8-12&#956;m standard range, every 4 frames were averaged for
    the evaluation presented in figure 2. In order to calculate the
    water surface temperature from the IR emission, an emissivity
    value of 0.96 was assumed for the distilled water.
    For Schlieren visualization a standard Schlieren set-up
    was used, including a 200mW argon-ion laser (ILT 5490, Ion
    Laser Technology, Salt Lake City, Utah) operated in the
    multiline mode and a 20&#215; microscope objective together

  • by darknys ( 450081 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @12:15PM (#20793921)
    Human cells have membranes, not walls. Only plants and bacteria have walls.
  • Re:Actually... (Score:2, Informative)

    by marshmallow soup ( 965581 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @12:31PM (#20794035)
    Actually, the problem isn't the *freezing* at all -- it's the thawing. When the system thaws, the reperfusion of oxygen into the tissue causes a sudden reanimation of biological processes that most organsims are unable to handle properly. Ice crystals alone don't general cause as much of a problem as the body's reaction to that damage. (Source: some Cell articles from a year or two ago, but I don't have a citation handy. Immunohistochemistry in chipmunk brain slices, I believe.)
  • by killmofasta ( 460565 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @12:53PM (#20794233)
    Good one. Very Insightfull.

    The point at which water and steam are the same is a line, actulally of pressure, that goes down to its 'Triple' point. Where without a change in potential, H2O can exist in all three phases. If you increase its pressure/temprature way up, like you say to 340^o C, then all the electrons cannot attach themselves to the molicules, and the electrical properties are lost, and the gas enters the fouth state of matter called ... get ready star trek fans... PLAZMA...

    Seems that some gases when exposed to electrical current, at room tempretures, when they strip their electrons off, give off diffrent wavelengths of light... so if you can arrainge them in a matrix, you have a Plazma TV/Display.

    Uhh.. There is a problem with Heavy water. Really bad to drink... Particularly hard-hit by heavy water are the delicate assemblies of mitotic spindle formation necessary for cell division in eukaryotes. Regular tap water gives off neutrons too, but not in any sufficent quantity to be dangerous. Almost undetectible from the backround radiation. A molocule of heavy water is about 1 in 41 Million. so to get a gallon of heavy water, you need to process at least 4 times that amount.
    Think 10 days of clean mississippi flow.

    (And you did guess right about the number of types of ice. Of course there is a S.F. Book called Ice-9, but its fictional)

    If you take water, as steam, and swril it around a cylinder, the heaver molocules will move to the sides, where you can siphon them off. Turns out that 90cm are about right for this. SO when a county like Iraq starts ordering up a storm of 90cm alumium tubes...

    BUT, inorder to get enough water to seperate out the heavy molocules, you need an enoumus water source. In Germany, they used alpine rivers as the water source. In Iraq, you would need an extrodinarly large amount of fresh water to putify out the heavy water, and by the time the Tigrus and Euprhaties rivers reach Bagdad... the water is sufficently polluted to make it unusable for heavy water production. Now, if you had a place with heavy rainfall, little air pollution, like North Korea, you can make lots of heavy water, and of course sell it to the Iraqis.

    It realy doesnt take much to figure this stuff out.
  • by UncleTogie ( 1004853 ) * on Saturday September 29, 2007 @02:42PM (#20794975) Homepage Journal

    What's holding up yours?

    Why, an endless stack of turtles, of course...

  • by Ant P. ( 974313 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @11:01PM (#20798279) Homepage
    I find it scary that someone actually found that informative.

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