Tuesday, 31 May 2016


The article talks about a strange new behavior in water molecules inside crystals of beryls due to quantum-mechanical effects that let the water molecules face six different directions at the same time. The arrangement changes a lot when seen in this mineral, scientists have found that hydrogen atoms of some water molecules trapped in the crystal structure become "smeared out" into a six-sided ring. Water molecules pass through a tunnel” through seemingly-impossible physical barriers. Water molecules are delocalized in 6 directions or channels.
When the crystals are cooled down, different effects occur. Instead of getting bigger with temperature (expected) it gets smaller. They say that this might occur due to two reasons, by either quantum tunneling or magnetic transitions. It is proven that it occurred due to quantum tunneling.
In their lowest energy states, the water molecules do not have enough energy to rotate to one of the positions. But in the areas where the channels narrow so just a single water molecule can fit, the atoms in the water molecule can "tunnel" through the energy barrier that prevents rotation. After a few  experiments it has been discovered that the "molecules were forming a "double-top" shape, with the proton nucleus of each hydrogen atom delocalizing into a six-sided ring around the central oxygen atom."

Marc I. 3º Y


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