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Exotic Properties of Water and New World-Class European Research Facilities

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Date:  Thu, December 13, 2018
Time:  11:00am-12:00pm
Location:  Holmes 309
Speaker:  John Kronholm, Dept. of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark


Water is an intensely studied but poorly understood substance, showing many anomalies. Liquid water has been suggested to form large self-organized ice-like structures around ions and particles as well as close to surfaces. There is strong evidence for two states of liquid water with different density. Liquid crystal properties have been reported for aqueous systems such as tissues and biofilm. Simulations have shown ice-like vibrations in liquid water. Particle-free zones can extend up to hundreds of microns from surfaces, showing charge separation and anomalies in e.g. pH distribution and absorption/emission spectra. However, traditional water models do not allow for long range structures. Do we need new theoretical models to describe such phenomena, or can they be explained by processes such as diffusiophoresis?

In Europe, large-scale research facilities are being built and expanded to bring light to natural sciences, not least in relation to water. In Lund, Sweden, the x-ray synchrotron MAXIV has recently been inaugurated, while the European Spallation Source (ESS) for neutron imaging and analysis is being built next door. In Hamburg, Germany, plans are solidifying for a Centre for Molecular Water Science, in connection to the DESY synchrotron and free-electron laser facility. Thus, there is great hope that theoretical and experimental advances will shed light on the mysteries of water. A deeper understanding of water and aqueous substances may lead to breakthroughs in the natural sciences as well as technologies such as water treatment, desalination and energy production.

About the Speaker:

Johan Kronholm is a researcher and developer with a passion for sustainable and disruptive solutions for building a thriving collaborative society, bringing science to innovation and innovation to science. MSc in Engineering Physics (Uppsala U, Sweden), PhD in Medical Radiation Physics (Stockholm U). Senior Researcher at DTU, the Technical University of Denmark (Chemical Engineering) with funding from a private Danish foundation to study water structure. Johan is also a self-employed consultant in innovation support, product and business development.

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