Anomalous Water: Characterization by Physical Methods

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Science  03 Jul 1970:
Vol. 169, Issue 3940, pp. 48-52
DOI: 10.1126/science.169.3940.48


Anomalous water samples have been prepared in fused quartz capillaries from pure water in an unsaturated atmosphere. In agreement with observations of other investigators, water prepared in this manner, after concentration, exhibited an increased viscosity, a lowered vapor pressure, a phase separation at low temperatures, an index of refraction of 1.48 or greater, and a depression of the temperature of maximum density. However, electron microprobe examination indicated that a significant weight fraction of these concentrated anomalous water residues consists of sodium, boron, and oxygen. The presence of about 6 percent boron was also confirmed through neutron activation analyses and by mass spectrometric measurements. A parallel is drawn between the similar physical properties of anomalous water and highly concentrated sodium tetraborate solutions. The possibility of polymorphism in liquid water should be accepted only with serious reservations.

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