Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Boston University Scientists Uncover The Secret To Movement In Super-Cooled Water

Date:
July 13, 2000
Source:
Boston University
Summary:
Scientists at the Center for Polymer Studies at Boston University and at the Universitá di Roma La Sapienza have created a computer model that is useful in understanding how molecules move through super-cooled water. This finding is key to understanding the processes that allow life to continue in sub-zero conditions.

Contact: Joan Schwartz (617) 353-4626; [email protected]

Related Articles


(Boston, Mass.) - H. Eugene Stanley and colleagues at the Center for Polymer Studies at Boston University and at the Universitá di Roma La Sapienza have created a computer model that is useful in understanding how molecules move through super-cooled water. Papers in the current issue of the journal Nature and in May 15th issue of Physical Review Letters describe the results of their work, which was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation.

Understanding the mechanisms of super-cooled water, that is between the temperatures of 0º and -38º C, is key to understanding the processes that allow life to continue in sub-zero conditions. These conditions exist, for example, in the cells of plants that continue to metabolize through the winter, albeit at a slower pace - like a hibernating bear. Essential to this metabolism is the fact that water can exist in a viscous state, not just as the liquid we are familiar with, nor frozen (which would block all metabolism), but in the super-cooled state that scientists describe as glassy. Understanding just how these molecules of super-cooled water move, carrying nutrients to the cells of the plants in this low energy environment, has baffled scientists for some time.

"What we found," Emilia La Nave, principal author on one of the papers, "is that how molecules diffuse through super-cooled liquid depends upon the way energy is distributed throughout the liquid - its 'energy landscape'."

"A useful analog," she continues, "is a drunken mountaineer amidst a large and confusing mountain range trying to find his way home. Even though drunk, the mountaineer will be sensible enough to find the mountain passes and stumble through them rather than climb over each peak! The key to understanding the path of the mountaineer lies in the topology of the landscape he traverses - he picks the path of least resistance."

Similarly, by analyzing the "energy landscape" of super-cooled water it is possible to make predictions about how molecules will diffuse through the liquid. This give us a better understanding about how life survives at temperatures below zero.

Further information and images are available at: http://polymer.bu.edu/~lanave/papers.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston University. "Boston University Scientists Uncover The Secret To Movement In Super-Cooled Water." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 July 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/07/000712173904.htm>.
Boston University. (2000, July 13). Boston University Scientists Uncover The Secret To Movement In Super-Cooled Water. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/07/000712173904.htm
Boston University. "Boston University Scientists Uncover The Secret To Movement In Super-Cooled Water." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/07/000712173904.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) — What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — US President Barack Obama says that construction of the Keystone pipeline would have 'very little impact' on US gas prices and believes there are 'more direct ways' to create construction jobs. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins