All know that water – the excellent conductor of electric current. For this reason, for example, extremely it isn’t recommended to use electric devices near sources of water and not to bathe in reservoirs during a thunder-storm. However despite relative simplicity of this rule, still nobody could explain precisely how molecules of water are capable to transfer among themselves protons during this process of conductivity.
The group of researchers of Yale University under the leadership of professor of chemistry Mark Johnson for the first time could imprint the process of transfer of electrons happening in water molecules by means of the spectroscopic analysis. Process of transfer carries the name of “Grotgus’s mechanism” (it was for the first time predicted by the German chemist Theodor von Grotgus) and torments minds of scientists more than 200 years.
“This fundamental chemical and biological process had no exact reasons and an explanation” — the researcher Annie McCoy from the Washington university says.
Years of studying of chemistry of water at the molecular level after all led to the necessary opening. Within the research scientists could refrigerate water molecules while they were in the transitional conditions that allowed researchers to study the structural changes happening within Grotgus’s mechanism in details. In the work they applied molecules of “heavy water” (deuterium oxide) which were very sharply refrigerated up to the temperature near absolute to zero (-273,15 degrees Celsius).
Many years it is the image was the most detailed idea of our understanding of how there is this process. In spite of the fact that scientists perfectly understood how this mechanism works at practice, they had no opportunity visually and in details to be convinced of it.
As specifies the Science magazine, results of a research have revolutionary character. The last 200 years scientists tried to find an experimental method to trace structural changes in water molecules when those install electrical equipment. The task was extreme difficult. In recent years researchers tried to perform monitoring of process by means of infrared scanning. Results were very low-quality. Pictures were very indistinct and didn’t give clear idea of the happening process.
“The vagueness turned out so strong that didn’t even allow to determine communication between color and structure” — Johnson explains.
But once the scientist applied a method of instant freezing, results were stunning.
“We actually opened the Rozettsky stone which showed us structural information in all details and color. We could reveal the sequence of the certain deformations which are replaced as a personnel in the movie. It will give us a new idea of water and its carrying-out properties as the phenomenon is a part of a set of chemical reactions on Earth” — Johnson says.
“Now we have a lost link giving us an idea of fuller picture: as protons move through water molecules” — McCoy says.
Besides, the equipment which was used by scientists for opening also is somewhat revolutionary. She also allows us to glance in other properties of water like recently found possibility of water to turn into ice, even at temperatures boilings are higher.