It’s a textbook moment centuries in the making: more than 200 years after scientists started investigating how water molecules conduct electricity, a team has finally witnessed it happening first-hand.
It’s no surprise that most naturally ocurring water conducts electricity incredibly well – that’s a fact most of us have been taught since primary school. But despite how fundamental the process is, no one had been able to figure out how it actually happens on the atomic level.
“This fundamental process in chemistry and biology has eluded a firm explanation,” said one of the team, Anne McCoy from the University of Washington. “And now we have the missing piece that gives us the bigger picture: how protons essentially ‘move’ through water.” Read more