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
A Varied Menu
25.03.2019 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Key evidence associating hydrophobicity with effective acid catalysis
25.03.2019 | Tokyo Metropolitan University
DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.
The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...
Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
11.03.2019 | Event News
01.03.2019 | Event News
28.02.2019 | Event News
25.03.2019 | Trade Fair News
25.03.2019 | Life Sciences
25.03.2019 | Information Technology