New state of water molecule discovered

April 22, 2016 by Ron Walli
ORNL researchers discovered that water in beryl displays some unique and unexpected characteristics. Credit: Jeff Scovil

Neutron scattering and computational modeling have revealed unique and unexpected behavior of water molecules under extreme confinement that is unmatched by any known gas, liquid or solid states.

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory describe a new tunneling state of confined in hexagonal ultra-small channels - 5 angstrom across - of the mineral beryl. An angstrom is 1/10-billionth of a meter, and individual atoms are typically about 1 angstrom in diameter.

The discovery, made possible with experiments at ORNL's Spallation Neutron Source and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the United Kingdom, demonstrates features of under ultra confinement in rocks, soil and cell walls, which scientists predict will be of interest across many disciplines.

"At low temperatures, this tunneling water exhibits quantum motion through the separating potential walls, which is forbidden in the classical world," said lead author Alexander Kolesnikov of ORNL's Chemical and Engineering Materials Division. "This means that the oxygen and hydrogen atoms of the water molecule are 'delocalized' and therefore simultaneously present in all six symmetrically equivalent positions in the channel at the same time. It's one of those phenomena that only occur in quantum mechanics and has no parallel in our everyday experience."

The existence of the tunneling state of water shown in ORNL's study should help scientists better describe the thermodynamic properties and behavior of water in highly confined environments such as water diffusion and transport in the channels of cell membranes, in carbon nanotubes and along grain boundaries and at mineral interfaces in a host of geological environments.

ORNL co-author Lawrence Anovitz noted that the discovery is apt to spark discussions among materials, biological, geological and computational scientists as they attempt to explain the mechanism behind this phenomenon and understand how it applies to their materials.

"This discovery represents a new fundamental understanding of the behavior of water and the way water utilizes energy," Anovitz said. "It's also interesting to think that those water molecules in your aquamarine or emerald ring - blue and green varieties of beryl - are undergoing the same we've seen in our experiments."

While previous studies have observed tunneling of atomic hydrogen in other systems, the ORNL discovery that water exhibits such tunneling behavior is unprecedented. The and computational chemistry experiments showed that, in the tunneling state, the water molecules are delocalized around a ring so the water molecule assumes an unusual double top-like shape.

"The average kinetic energy of the water protons directly obtained from the neutron experiment is a measure of their motion at almost absolute zero temperature and is about 30 percent less than it is in bulk liquid or solid water," Kolesnikov said. "This is in complete disagreement with accepted models based on the energies of its vibrational modes."

First principle simulations made by Narayani Choudhury of Lake Washington Institute of Technology and University of Washington-Bothell showed that the behavior is coupled to the vibrational dynamics of the beryl structure.

Co-authors of the paper, titled "Quantum Tunneling of Water in Beryl: a New State of the Water Molecule," were Timothy Prisk, Eugene Mamontov, Andrey Podlesnyak, George Ehlers and David Wesolowski of ORNL, George Reiter of the University of Houston and Andrew Seel of Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Funding for this research was provided by DOE's Office of Basic Energy Sciences. The SNS is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

Explore further: Exotic quantum effects can govern the chemistry around us

More information: Quantum Tunneling of Water in Beryl: A New State of the Water Molecule, PRL, journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/ … ysRevLett.116.167802

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Hyperfuzzy
3 / 5 (2) Apr 22, 2016
OK, nice work; but, qualify the beryl! This is some sort of proximity to rotating and nuclear states not well defined. So the "new" is not definitive.
Hyperfuzzy
3 / 5 (2) Apr 22, 2016
Also, would like to see hydrogen or ...
obama_socks
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 22, 2016
Hmmmm..concentric circles, hexagons, and connective dots in the picture. Very nice geometric patterns as art. The question is: does it reflect on the actual patterning of the water molecules within the beryl? Or do the art patterns merely reflect on someone's vivid imagination or guesstimate?
Is there a chance that these patterns can also represent a geometric pattern in the macro level, i.e. planetary, star and galactic form. Solar and other star systems exhibit a concentric circular form, as do galaxies. The connective dots smacks of the EU model, where stars are connected to each other by electric fields/filaments. I hope I got that right.
NoStrings
not rated yet Apr 23, 2016
Converting obsolete length measurements - angstrom is 0.1 nm - at 0.5nm distance. At least not telling us in inches, thanks... Only hydrogen atoms are about 0.1 nm (1 angstrom) in diameter, all other are somewhat larger.
FineStructureConstant
5 / 5 (4) Apr 23, 2016
Is there a chance that these patterns can also represent a geometric pattern in the macro level, i.e. planetary, star and galactic form. Solar and other star systems exhibit a concentric circular form, as do galaxies
Sure: circles, squares, nonagons, whatever takes your fancy. I can even sell you some at a GOOD price!

Seriously though, fella, NO planetary or galactic orbit is actually circular: they're all ellipses (ever heard of them?) with major and minor axes all over the place, to say nothing of angles to the ecliptic, or gravitational perturbations from nearby objects...

But hey, why let mere details get in the way of hand-waving?
retrosurf
5 / 5 (3) Apr 23, 2016
The question is: does it reflect on the actual patterning of the water molecules within the beryl? Or do the art patterns merely reflect on someone's vivid imagination or guesstimate?


Both, actually. The illustration in this article is a good representation of some of the illustrations in the article, and show the structure of the channels, and a pretty good potential map of the water molecule in it. The vivid imagination part of it comes with the insertion of a nice beryl-in-quartz mineral specimen.

Is there a chance that these patterns can also represent a geometric pattern in the macro level, i.e. planetary, star and galactic form.


I don't think so. They schematic is a good match for the "cyclo-silicate" structure of beryl, and I think was generated by a professional artist at ORNL. It's really a very high content illustration.
compose
Apr 23, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
compose
Apr 23, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Hyperfuzzy
5 / 5 (1) Apr 23, 2016
OK, two things we know: A particle, + or - or both, moves; then, an EM field. Also we know the math. So where do we find "new" when we can compute all possible states? Oh; forgot, we didn't do that work. The world is still a mystery; but, we have QM for the best guess? Read everything, compute reality and fix the error in logic and math! Apply only what is known!

Then, there does not exist a "New", with proper logic!
obama_socks
not rated yet Apr 23, 2016
Is there a chance that these patterns can also represent a geometric pattern in the macro level, i.e. planetary, star and galactic form. Solar and other star systems exhibit a concentric circular form, as do galaxies
Sure: circles, squares, nonagons, whatever takes your fancy. I can even sell you some at a GOOD price!

Seriously though, fella, NO planetary or galactic orbit is actually circular: they're all ellipses (ever heard of them?) with major and minor axes all over the place, to say nothing of angles to the ecliptic, or gravitational perturbations from nearby objects...

But hey, why let mere details get in the way of hand-waving?
- FineStructureConstant
Maybe not a perfect circle, but a concentric "circular pattern or form" is exhibited. An ellipse i.e. Solar system is an elongated circle, and presumably, so are electrons. The point I'm making is that the CIRCLE and globe is the obvious form in the way of least resistance. I hope I'm clear on that.
obama_socks
not rated yet Apr 23, 2016
OK, two things we know: A particle, + or - or both, moves; then, an EM field. Also we know the math. So where do we find "new" when we can compute all possible states? Oh; forgot, we didn't do that work. The world is still a mystery; but, we have QM for the best guess? Read everything, compute reality and fix the error in logic and math! Apply only what is known!

Then, there does not exist a "New", with proper logic!
- Hyperfuzzy
My hypothesis is that all Quantum particles/waves are representative of all "objects" on the macro level. Similar, but not exactly, like a computer Fractal program, where no matter where you click in the Fractal graphic, on that level it still looks the same as the larger Fractal version it originated from.
I would love to produce a math equation, but not qualified as a math major in college.

@compose
Thanks for the "polywater" remembrance. I read about it in high school and was amazed at how many were taken in by it.
compose
Apr 23, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Hyperfuzzy
1 / 5 (1) Apr 23, 2016

My hypothesis is that all Quantum particles/waves are representative of all "objects" on the macro level. Similar, but not exactly, like a computer Fractal program, where no matter where you click in the Fractal graphic, on that level it still looks the same as the larger Fractal version it originated from.
I would love to produce a math equation, but not qualified as a math major in college.

@compose
Thanks for the "polywater" remembrance. I read about it in high school and was amazed at how many were taken in by it.

You're an idiot
obama_socks
not rated yet Apr 24, 2016

My hypothesis is that all Quantum particles/waves are representative of all "objects" on the macro level. Similar, but not exactly, like a computer Fractal program, where no matter where you click in the Fractal graphic, on that level it still looks the same as the larger Fractal version it originated from.
I would love to produce a math equation, but not qualified as a math major in college.

@compose
Thanks for the "polywater" remembrance. I read about it in high school and was amazed at how many were taken in by it.

You're an idiot
- hyperfuzzy
I meant that for retrosurf who gave me a proper answer. Sorry that I copied YOUR name by mistake.
FineStructureConstant
5 / 5 (2) Apr 24, 2016
An ellipse ... is an elongated circle
Nope, it's the other way around: a circle is a special case of an ellipse with eccentricity zero.
...and presumably, so are electrons
Only in a VERY simplistic atomic model, like the old Bohr atomic model. QM shows us that an electron in an atom does not "orbit" the nucleus, but rather exists as, or in, a sort of (the math is explicit here, but words are inadequate) probability cloud or extended wave-packet around, and even through, the nucleus. Indeed, electrons in the atom's innermost "shells" can be captured by the nucleus, resulting in the atom decaying to the next lower element in the periodic table, and emitting variously a gamma ray and/or an X-ray.
The point I'm making is that the CIRCLE and globe is the obvious form in the way of least resistance. I hope I'm clear on that.
As clear as mud, my friend...
FineStructureConstant
5 / 5 (3) Apr 24, 2016
My hypothesis is that all Quantum particles/waves are representative of all "objects" on the macro level. Similar, but not exactly, like a computer Fractal program, where no matter where you click in the Fractal graphic, on that level it still looks the same as the larger Fractal version it originated from. ... I would love to produce a math equation, but not qualified as a math major in college
Please, NO: do not grace such meanderings with the title "hypothesis", they're really nothing more than musings. And you're not alone in musing on such things - practically everybody in the wider scientific community has wondered about the possibility of such "correlations", but the math - which you admit you have no understanding of - will show that there's no basis to the idea.

Still doesn't stop us musing though, does it?
obama_socks
not rated yet Apr 25, 2016
Thanks for the teachable moment. On a learning curve here and have taken a great interest in QM and astrophysics while musing about the correlation of one to the other in Nature.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Apr 25, 2016
but the math...will show that there's no basis to the idea.

Still doesn't stop us musing though, does it?


That's something I wonder about. When you have such musings (as all of us have) then it's really useful to be able to do the math. Because otherwise you'll never figure whether your musings are good or not. Specifically if you do the math you can actually go to others and have a fruitful discussion (i.e. one where knowledge is gained rather than just doing the dope-addled "here's an idea..." shtick)

Moreover if you never do the math/put your idea to the test you run the risk of getting stuck on a false idea for months/years/decades/life - instead of spending 20 minutes to figure out that it's wrong and move on to other (possibly correct) musings.

Not making the effort seems like such a lot of potentially wasted time.
compose
Apr 25, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Hyperfuzzy
not rated yet May 05, 2016
Think of the wave as the permanent part of the charge. the motion of the center causes an update of the field. So the wave part of the particle is infinite an always changing. The particle portion is by position only as the center of the field. The position of the center is to accommodate all fields.
greedkillsscience
not rated yet May 13, 2016
Read Gerald Pollack... he has some interesting revelations that precede this "unprecedented" experimentation. Also, Luc Montagnier discoveries are quite revealing. Be skeptical of "science" that comes from well funded organizations, the facts can be twisted to support whatever conclusions desired. The contamination "theory" of polywater doesn't "hold water." Water as a liquid crystal (fourth phase) and the coherent domain structures, are basic to the phenomenon of water's properties.

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