Sunday, August 30, 2009

More on the structure of water from SLAC via World Science

"Dance restaurant" theory of water takes shape
Aug. 14, 2009 Courtesy SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and World Science staff

Everyone knows water -- it shapes our bodies and our planet. But de­spite this abundance, the molecular structure of water has remained a mystery. Com­pared to other liquids, water has strange properties that are still poorly understood.

Recent work at the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and universities in Sweden and Japan, though, is shedding new light on water’s molecular idiosyncrasies, offering insight into its odd properties.

How water molecules arrange themselves in the substance’s solid form, ice, was long ago established: the molecules form a tight “tetrahedral” lattice, with each molecule binding to four others.