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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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  • I RTFA for a change (Score:5, Interesting)

    by way2trivial ( 601132 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @11:22AM (#20793563) Homepage Journal
    and it makes me wonder.. where they talk about the changes in water density.

    IF you could find a way to change the density of water within living cells-- decrease slowly, and increase rapidly...

    by oh say, 10% or more from standard...

    When you decrease slowly, then cellular walls could expand to accomodate the increased volume without bursting...
    now your return the density to normal (if necassary).. and before the cells recover- you freeze the cells-- and the expansion of the frozen water does not cause massive gross cellular damage.

    now cyronics is much more achievable.. (of course, the voltages described do not seem condusive to application to living flesh,, but perhaps another method could be found for the same effect...)

  • by peterofoz ( 1038508 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @11:36AM (#20793671) Homepage Journal
    I'd be curious if this also occurs in another natural high-voltage environment - thunder clouds. Do water structures form in clouds? How does this affect hail production? I used to think that hail stones would be carried upward by winds and grow over iterations of freezing droplets, but if a high voltage causes droplets to form larger balls of water which then freeze as they drop, that would be a simpler process.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29, 2007 @11:53AM (#20793775)
    What does empty space mean here?
    Was the experiment done in a vacuum, open air, or in space?
  • That's nothing... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Tastecicles ( 1153671 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @11:56AM (#20793789)
    Given enough self-support, I can take large chunks of electrically cooled water and make bridges across two solid objects (ie riverbanks) as high as I think practical to create a passable bridge between two land masses. How long said bridge structure would last depends on environmental conditions, but I can make a substance known as Pycrete, invented during the second world war, by adding woodchip to the water as it cools, increasing its heat capacity a thousandfold and its resistance to hydrodynamic shock a millionfold. </technobabble>
  • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @12:17PM (#20793925) Homepage
    Since the water molecule is asymmetrical, and can sometimes be pictured as the head of mickey mouse with the head as oxygen and the ears as hydrogen atoms it sure is intriguing already there.

    And to make things worse :-) it can be formed in a large number of types of ice, not only one type. Which type depends on the pressure involved. (I don't have the exact figure about how many types of ice that exists, but I think it's at least eight.) Some types of ice has a higher density than the liquid form of water while other as we are familiar with has a lower which results in the fact that ice floats. If ice hadn't been able to float life as we know it wouldn't have formed, or at least the oceans would be a lot different since the bottom would be covered in ice.

    Depending on the temperature and pressure water can change state from solid to gas or vice versa without going to the liquid phase. There is also at least one point at which the properties that separates the gas form and the liquid form ceases to have a meaning and a fourth state is entered. If I remember it correctly it appears at a temperature of about 340 degrees C. (I may be wrong)

    And even if we don't think about it as such water is actually one of the best solvents around. More often we think about some petrol or alcohol when we are saying solvent, but water is also our friend here. The reason why water and oil doesn't mix is because water is a polar molecule with a positive and a negative side while the molecules oil is built on are electrically neutral. An intermediate here are alcohols (a few of them drinkable, but most of them not - or only once) where one end of the molecule is electrically neutral and friend with oil while the other is polarized and water-friendly. This means that alcohols can be used when you want to mix water and oil. In some cases it is possible to create an emulsion of water and oil too, and one of the most common is mayonnaise (which most people has been in contact with).

    Sometimes the term heavy water is making it's way through the news. It is actually ordinary water - chemically speaking - which means that there is no problem if you should drink it - except that it's rather expensive. The difference is that one or both of the hydrogen atoms in the molecule has an extra neutron or two. These forms are called deuterium or tritium. The extra neutron involved means that the atoms can be fused with each other to create helium. It is possible to fuse plain hydrogen atoms too, but the amount of energy needed is much larger and not precisely what can be done in a normal lab.

    At least two cases has been in movies or TV series that I know of that refers to heavy water and special properties (neither of them plausible) and the first was a humor series involving English POW:s in a German camp where they were trying to seed the idea of the wonder properties of heavy water when it comes to hair growth to a bald German. The second was that it could be used to cure cancer. (don't believe either)

  • by ciaran.mchale ( 1018214 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @12:39PM (#20794111) Homepage
    I have a vague memory that in one episode of MacGyver, the hero did something like this to redirect water from the corrupt landowner's property to nearby drought-stricken peasant's fields. He used a car battery initially to get the voltage required to create the water bridge. But when the car battery started to die, he used the water to drive a small generator (made from an empty Wite-Out bottle, some fuse wire and scuba diver flippers) that produced the electricity to keep the water bridge going. It was a great episode, even if the perpetual-motion machine was a bit far fetched.
  • by VanessaE ( 970834 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @02:08PM (#20794745) Homepage
    You know, it is possible for someone to forget a few things that are wrong with them when they're put on the spot by a doctor, or even just the usual first-visit paperwork. That she has the presence of mind to write down everything that happens, her list of medications (many hospitals explicitly request a list), and so on, says to me that she's smart enough to know how to get help. That the doctor isn't bothering to read the summary tells me the doctor is an idiot, regardless of how ill this person may or may not be.
  • by Joebert ( 946227 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @02:15PM (#20794785) Homepage
    If she's ill, how can the Doctor trust the information she's provided to be accurate ?
  • Re:Message to God (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cno3 ( 197688 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @02:40PM (#20794965) Homepage
    Sounds like a job for the Mythbusters!
  • by infonography ( 566403 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @02:45PM (#20795007) Homepage
    If one considers that burning is a chemical change on the molecular level then what we are seeing might actually be burning.

    A high voltage condition puts a lot of excess energy in the water now consider that the water molecules are being forced to break their bonds and decomposing into their component parts being hydrogen and oxygen, since they are not in contact with say Carbon in any great quantity they don't burn in what we would understand as fire. The electricity would pull off one of the atoms either a oxygen or a hydrogen atom leaving a unbalanced pair with enough of a charge to attract a stray atom of which there are suddenly a lot. So the upshot it they can only reform back into H2O and since the current is going in one direction the momentum of the breaking forms the bridge. The other way would be if forming weak molecules of H4C2 which can't hold together and break down again also along the lines of the current. Since the current is originating from one direction its natural that they are breaking along the direction of the current the motion is consistently between the two poles.

    Ok, I am now officially out of crack, see you guy again once I have scored.
  • by LM741N ( 258038 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @03:03PM (#20795119)
    I'm thinking of a bartenderless bar, controlled by some OS.
    And I'm talking about alcohol diluted enough that its not going to become a Flaming Moe.
  • by MonkWB ( 724056 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @03:15PM (#20795207)
    Sadly the parent should be moderated funny rather than insightful.
  • by permaculture ( 567540 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @04:49PM (#20795805) Homepage Journal
    This reminds me of a story about Queen Victoria (of Britain.) Someone was showing her around a factory where they were producing wire for electrical street lighting, and she asked:
                        "How do you drill the hole in the wire for the electricity to go through?"
    While this revealed that she didn't understand how electricity works, it was rather a good question.

    How does this relate to the matter at hand? Well, we need to come up with some good questions to help us work out how this water bridge thing works.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle