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IN Science & Technology ON 14 Nov, 2016
We know that water makes up to 60% of the human body and is one of the most crucial compounds for life to exist. Still, there are many things that are yet to be studied about it. Researchers have been studying physical properties of water and found out a surprising thing about it.
When liquid water is heated to 40 to 60-degree Celsius, it reaches a crossover temperature and switches between two states of liquid. Read on for the details.
It has the highest surface tension and bizarre boiling point.
Unlike other chemical compounds, the boiling point of water increases with the decrease in its molecular weight.
Philip Ball, the editor of the International Scientific Journal Nature, explained, "It's embarrassing to admit it, but the stuff that covers two-third of our planet is still a mystery. Worse, the more we look, the more the problems accumulate: new techniques probing deeper into the molecular architecture of liquid water are throwing up more puzzles."
But physicists have recently discovered a plasma-like state of liquid water. They discovered that liquid water can switch states between the temperatures of 40 to 60 degrees Celsius.
Physicists studied a number of properties of water including thermal conductivity, refractive index, conductivity and surface tension. They studied the electric field of water and also recorded fluctuations in temperature between 0 and 100 degrees Celsius.
Liquid water reaches crossover temperature and switch states within this range of temperature.
The list includes crossover temperatures approximately 64 degrees Celsius for thermal conductivity, 50 degrees Celsius for refractive index, about 53 degrees Celsius for conductivity, and 57 degrees Celsius for surface tension.
The hydrogen bonds of water molecules keep breaking and reforming with each other in turn altering the state of water. Philip Ball mentioned in the Journal Nature, "Everyone is agreed that one aspect of water's molecular structure sets it apart from most other liquids: fleeting hydrogen bonds. These feeble bonds that link the molecules constantly break and form above water's melting point, yet still impose a degree of structure on the molecular jumble. That's where the consensus ends."
Physicists wrote in their paper, "For example, the optical properties of metallic (gold and silver) nanoparticles dispersed in water, used as nanoprobes, and the emission properties of ... quantum dots, used for fluorescence bioimaging and tumor targeting, show a singular behavior in this temperature range. [It also] raises the question of whether temperature-driven structural changes in water affect biological macromolecules in aqueous solutions, and in particular in proteins, which are the vital functional biological units in living cells."