Rewrite the textbooks on water's surface tension

March 19, 2014

Researchers from the University of Melbourne and University of Sydney are confident their new reaserach results will make significant differences to the calculations of surface tension of water used by the next generation of atmospheric scientists, biophysicists and engineers of technology like inkjet printers.

These latest investigations have clinched a long-standing controversy amongst the physical Chemistry community; the air-water interface is negatively charged by the adsorption of hydroxide ions.

Prof Angus Gray-Weale from the Chemistry, Department of Chemistry University of Melbourne said, "The surface tension of water affects its behavior and changes with pH but previous research about the adsorption of various ions at the interface all ignored the presence of the hydroxide ion and its charge."

"We now need to rewrite the text book models of for the next generation of chemists who work at the refined molecular level."

Prof James Beattie from University of Sydney said, "Previous simulations and models are now recognised as inaccurate. I would estimate many hundreds of thousands of hours of computer time have been wasted because the theoreticians have not included the charge of the hydroxide in their boundary conditions for the simulations, thereby leaving out the strongest force in the system."

The announcement was made in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science.

Explore further: Iodate refuses to intimidate

Related Stories

Iodate refuses to intimidate

November 8, 2011

Like a bull in a china shop, a massive, iodine-based ion called iodate should disrupt the surrounding water molecules until it is forcibly expelled. However, it doesn't. This disconnect between the molecule's attributes and ...

Recommended for you

How the stick insect sticks (and unsticks) itself

October 7, 2015

New research shows the fluid found on insects' feet does not help them adhere to vertical and inverted surfaces, as previously thought, but may in fact help them to unstick their feet more easily to allow greater control ...

Detecting HIV diagnostic antibodies with DNA nanomachines

October 7, 2015

New research may revolutionize the slow, cumbersome and expensive process of detecting the antibodies that can help with the diagnosis of infectious and auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and HIV. An international ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.