At a microscopic level, water molecules behave rather like the needle of a compass. Just as the needle moves when surrounded by a magnetic field (such as that of the Earth), water molecules move slightly in one direction when there is an electric field. Or at least that is what physicists thought till now. Research at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona has shown that, in water trapped in the bubbles of a detergent, it is not quite like that: water molecules have a surprising ability to organize themselves in complex structures, which, when in the presence of the detergent’s electric field (created by the action of certain chemical compounds), organize themselves to cancel this out and even invert it.
Image of computer simulations of water molecules behaviour
Professors Jordi Faraudo of the Department of Physics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Fernando Bresme, from London University’s Imperial College, publish this surprising result in Physical Review Letters. Their paper deals with a fascinating discovery on the nature of water that will allow us to better understand complex behaviour such as that of biological membranes.
The research has been carried out by means of simulations, using supercomputers, of the behaviour of water molecules and their interaction with the molecules of a chemical compound frequently used in commercial detergents called SDS. In the simulations, carried out in Europe’s most powerful supercomputer laboratories in Edinburgh, the scientists have observed completely abnormal behaviour.
Octavi López Coronado | alfa
The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona
Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research