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New 'Tunneling' State of Water Molecules Discovered by Scientists (inhabitat.com) 60

MikeChino quotes a report from Inhabitat: Scientists just discovered a new state of water molecules that displays some pretty unexpected characteristics. This discovery, made by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), reveals that water molecules "tunnel" in ultra-small hexagonal channels (measuring only 5 angstrom across) of the mineral beryl. Basically, this means the molecules spread out when they are trapped in confined spaces, taking a new shape entirely. The ORNL used neutron scattering and computational modeling to reveal the "tunneling" state of water that breaks the rules of known fundamentals seen in gas, liquid, or solid state. The researchers said the discovery describes the behavior of water molecules present in tightly confined areas such as cell walls, soils, and rocks. The study was published in Physical Review Letters on April 22.
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New 'Tunneling' State of Water Molecules Discovered by Scientists

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  • Professor Gerald Pollack at University of Washington has been studying exactly this "new state" of water for over a decade and has written a very good book about it... http://www.amazon.com/Gerald-H... [amazon.com]

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      EEP. Wrong. Professor Gerald Pollack has a series of pseudoscientific theories about how water reaches a new state on *almost all surfaces*. This theory is widely approved by sites such as mercola.com and other altie quick-cash-in sites.

      There is 0 relation to this actual scientific discovery about how water changes to a new state "while restricted in a mineral beryl with hexagonal ultra-small channels that measures only 5 angstrom across".

      Please Slashdot, +5 interesting?

  • XXX (Score:5, Interesting)

    by qvatch ( 576224 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @07:38PM (#51986603)
    is this just a new form of 'square ice' http://www.nature.com/nature/j... [nature.com] , which was also supposed to have interesting flow properties?
  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @07:52PM (#51986663)

    “At low temperatures, this tunneling water exhibits quantum motion through the separating potential walls, which is forbidden in the classical world,” said lead author Alexander Kolesnikov of ORNL’s Chemical and Engineering Materials Division. “This means that the oxygen and hydrogen atoms of the water molecule are ‘delocalized’ and therefore simultaneously present in all six symmetrically equivalent positions in the channel at the same time. It’s one of those phenomena that only occur in quantum mechanics and has no parallel in our everyday experience.”

    From my simplistic understanding of quantum mechanics, this means the atoms weren't "observing" each other and therefore had probabilistic locations. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

  • Old news (Score:4, Funny)

    by Trachman ( 3499895 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @08:03PM (#51986709) Journal

    My neighbor has noticed this phenomena ten years ago.

    When he was drunk and was peeing in the middle of the parking lot, he noticed that splashes do resemble pattern, as shown in scientific article.

    Scientific article also says that water is "...simultaneously present in all six symmetrically equivalent positions". My neighbor noticed he peed all over his shoes and splashes where everywhere.Spot on match description of quantum behavior.

    Opportunity to nab a Nobel price lost. Again.

    • My neighbor has noticed this phenomena ten years ago.

      When he was drunk and was peeing in the middle of the parking lot, he noticed that splashes do resemble pattern, as shown in scientific article.

      Scientific article also says that water is "...simultaneously present in all six symmetrically equivalent positions". My neighbor noticed he peed all over his shoes and splashes where everywhere.Spot on match description of quantum behavior.

      Opportunity to nab a Nobel price lost. Again.

      He should drink more.

      Also, snowflakes are usually hexagonal in morphology.

      Water is a polar molecule, after all. (That was not a pun.)

    • by kkoo ( 4352157 )
      He'd have won a Nobel prize if instead of car park he'd been outstanding in his field.
  • by Sir Holo ( 531007 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @08:41PM (#51986885)

    PLEASE: Don't click the click-bait article.

    It is completely ignorant and wrong-headed in most every way imaginable.

    Other Commenters have noted the decade+ work of others on this.

    Let us go further back in time. Every object has a wavelength (and a limit on precise knowledge of its velocity). It also has a limitation on the precision with which one can determine its location. Yes, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

    Everything is a cloud of probability with regards to its exact position. Quantum Mechanics does not disappear in the continuum regime. The reality is that such effects are drowned out by other signals, or are imperceptible at the macro (or even micro) scale.

    Oh, FFS, just use Wikipedia and look up "wave-particle duality".

    Thomson did it with the electron. Einstein did it with the photon. I did it with the phonon. And apparently, per Comments above, Gerald Pollack did it with water – a HUGE hadron-mass (molecule of three atoms).

    Ignore the click-bait article.

    • How is this +5 insightful? What in the article said that QM didn't apply to this? So many nutjobs flock to these articles! I'm the only non-nutjob here I think.
    • I remember darkly 2 to 3 decades ago teams at some university difracting some small amine molecules in a rudbidyum crystal. Similar problem & effects.
    • Yes, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

      Everything is a cloud of probability with regards to its exact position.

      Everything's got to be in The Cloud these days... :-/

  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @09:28PM (#51987015)

    Palladium has long been noted to be capable of absorbing large amounts of hydrogen:

    https://www.technologyreview.c... [technologyreview.com]

    • Yes. Because water and beryl are the same elements as palladium and hydrogen. It also is related to missing Dark Matter, black holes, time travel and the Time Cube.
  • by cas2000 ( 148703 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @10:46PM (#51987275)

    This discovery will inevitably be garbled and abused by pseudo-science charlatans to promote highly profitable bullshit like homeopathy.

    I can see it now:

    "tunneling" is how "water memory" works, which is why no-one's ever actually seen it or proved its existence. Until now!

    • If it wasn't for this tunneling, there wouldn't be all those drugs smuggled into America. Isn't there some kind of quantum barrier, like a wall, we can build?

    • Exactly what I was going to say. They'll run with this even though most elements and compounds involved in homeopathy aren't crystalline in nature like Beryllium.
  • As long as it's not ice-9.
  • In the early 1990's I read a couple of books by Roger Penrose, The Emperor's New Mind and Shadows of the Mind. In these books Penrose speculated about something called Ordered Water, present in the microtubules of the cytoskeleton of neurons in the brain - possibly forming some kind of Bose-Einstein Condensate. Is this a similar kind of thing?
  • For once they are in the news not for having lost their harddrives on trains, benches or just lying around in hallways.

  • This sounds suspiciously like the claims for "PolyWater" [wikipedia.org], a magical form of water that I first saw mention of in Popular Science magazine in the early 1970s.

    It turned out to be the result of impurities in the water.
    • I thought you were going to start quoting Whitesnake! Then I realized it would've been "I", not "We"... Disappointed! :-/
      • I thought you were going to start quoting Whitesnake! Then I realized it would've been "I", not "We"... Disappointed! :-/

        LOL, Sorry! I hate that song. ;-)

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