Here (“Weird World of Water Gets a Little Weirder,” ScienceDaily, Nov. 9, 2011):
Pradeep Kumar and H. Eugene Stanley explain that water is one weird substance, exhibiting more than 80 unusual properties, by one count, including some that scientists still struggle to understand. For example, water can exist in all three states of matter (solid, liquid,gas) at the same time. And the forces at its surface enable insects to walk on water and water to rise up from the roots into the leaves of trees and other plants.
In another strange turn, scientists have proposed that water can go from being one type of liquid into another in a so-called “liquid-liquid” phase transition, but it is impossible to test this with today’s laboratory equipment because these things happen so fast. That’s why Kumar and Stanley used computer simulations to check it out.
They found that when they chilled liquid water in their simulation, its propensity to conduct heat decreases, as expected for an ordinary liquid. But, when they lowered the temperature to about 54 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, the liquid water started to conduct heat even better in the simulation. Their studies suggest that below this temperature, liquid water undergoes sharp but continuous structural changes whereas the local structure of liquid becomes extremely ordered — very much like ice. These structural changes in liquid water lead to increase of heat conduction at lower temperatures.
The researchers say that this surprising result supports the idea that water has a liquid-liquid phase transition.
In a non-Darwin world, would media releases discussing this stuff keep using the term “weird?” Why is it weird? Doesn’t that tell you a lot about what your Correct OpinionsTM should have been?
3 Replies to “Water is just another of those things in our randomly mutated universe, right? But wait, read this …”
Here is one particular ‘anomalous’ property of water I find very, very, interesting: Water is considered a ‘universal solvent’ which is a very thermodynamic obeying and thus origin of life defying fact.
Yet once amino acids are assembled into proteins this following ‘anomalous’ property of water kicks in:
It is now found that water itself, (H2O), was ‘designed’ with protein folding in mind:
Verse and Music:
F/N: Having a triple point is not an uncommon property. KF
F/N 2: Water is indeed exhibit A on fine tuning of the cosmos. KF