Like a Bridge Over Electric Waters
A wonderful demonstration of the conducting powers of water.
Originally shared by David Amerland
The Miracle of Water
We are between 50%-65% water and 72% of the planet is covered by it, yet we have little knowledge of the structural properties of the liquid. In an eye opening experiment scientists at the Graz university in Austria, electrified two beakers full of water using high voltage currents.
Water is an excellent conductor of electricity and the hydrogen bonds within it allow something remarkable to happen, as the researchers explain: “The interaction of water with electric fields has been intensely explored over the last years. We report another unusual effect of liquid water exposed to a dc electric field: the floating water bridge.”
When exposed to a high-voltage electric field, water in two beakers climbs out of the beakers and crosses empty space to meet, forming the water bridge. The liquid bridge, hovering in space, appears to the human eye to defy gravity. Upon investigating the phenomenon, the scientists found that water was being transported from one beaker to another, usually from the anode beaker to the cathode beaker. The bridge holds stable as the beakers are pulled apart as far as 25mm one from the other.
Even more amazing is what happens in the structure of the water bridge itself: “The bridge forms due to electrostatic charges on the surface of the water. The electric field then concentrates inside the water, arranging the water molecules to form a highly ordered microstructure. This microstructure remains stable, keeping the bridge intact.”
The essence of this is that a fundamental force, electricity, is used to manipulate and, in a way, shape a plentiful substance, water top create a microstructure.
Have a great Tuesday 🙂