Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

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

Date:
July 28, 2000
Source:
Boston University
Summary:
H. Eugene Stanley and colleagues at the Center for Polymer Studies at Boston University and at the Universite di Roma La Sapienza have created a computer model that is useful in understanding how molecules move through super-cooled water.

(Boston, Mass.) - H. Eugene Stanley and colleagues at the Center for Polymer Studies at Boston University and at the Universite 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 0 degrees and -38 degrees 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, 28 July 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/07/000725080540.htm>.
Boston University. (2000, July 28). Boston University Scientists Uncover The Secret To Movement In Super-Cooled Water. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/07/000725080540.htm
Boston University. "Boston University Scientists Uncover The Secret To Movement In Super-Cooled Water." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/07/000725080540.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Reuters - US Online Video (July 29, 2014) — Passengers stuck overnight on a whale watching boat return safely to Boston. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) — Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) — The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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