Water is everywhere but do we really understand it?


The water is essential for all life forms as far as we know. It is a simple molecule consisting of one Oxygen and two Hydrogen atoms. We all know what it is but we seldom how symmetrical it all can be. Here we have a drop of water under vibration at 100 cycles per second (100 Hz).

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Here is also a series of high speed camera pictures of (Univ. Ulm) water droplets in the air. This happens every day if it rains, in morning dew, in rivers and in lakes when it's windy or fish jump or whatever causes even a sigle droplet form.

We come now down to small droplets that almost float with the air. The 100 um scale in the picture indicate that the droplet diameter is almost 0.05 mm. It looks and behaves like a small dust particle floating in the sunshine. When seen through high speed camera it all is totally different from what we have accustomed to know it. All these tiny water droplets are vibrating at high speed between elongnated and round states. And every time they are elongnated they shoot out highly charged minidroplets in hundreds. This keeps oscillating untill the water is totally evaporated or it somehow finds a new balance as an aerosol - like morning fog that disappears when the temeprature raises. Behind this clockwork is surface tension, viscosity and the electric charge of a water molecule.

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However, this is not all what water can do...

We all know that the water is the main element that shapes the nature around us. It erodes the mountains, carves the rivers and the valleys, and dissolves slowly all kind of elements and carries them into oceans for use or recycling immediately or at least within the next few hundred millions of years. We have discovered that we can speed up this unstoppable process.

Below is a video clip where one cuts steel like butter with water. This is done by high precision high pressure water jets through diamond tip nozzles. The pressure level is roughly four times the pressure that exists at the bottom of the deepest water canyon in the oceans. When some abrasive materials are added even a 10 cm or 4 inch steel slab is no match to the erosion power of this water ( find even more interesting stuff from How Stuff Works).

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The real Smokers - the Deep Sea Vents (NOOA)


The water is essential for all life forms as far as we know, be it a mile or two under the ocean surface next to the sea vents where the continuous opening and closing of tectonic plates allows the red hot lava to freely touch the ocean water. This is a deadly environment for every lifer form on the surface of the planet. However, there is a totally new world that is based on Sulphur, enormopusly rich mineral environment, high pressure and high heat. The temperature here is between 200-300 deg C and pressure well over 100 atmospheres.

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