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Thin Water Acts Like a Solid

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the mash-downs dept.

Biotech 138

Roland Piquepaille writes "What happens when you compress water in a nano-sized space? According to Georgia Tech physicists, water starts to behave like a solid. "The confined water film behaves like a solid in the vertical direction by forming layers parallel to the confining surface, while maintaining it's liquidity in the horizontal direction where it can flow out," said one of the researchers. "Water is a wonderful lubricant, but it flows too easily for many applications. At the one nanometer scale, water is a viscous fluid and could be a much better lubricant," added another one."

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PV = NRT . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875267)

Isn't this probably just the pressure part of the equation acting out a little?

Re:PV = NRT . . . (4, Informative)

appleguru (1030562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875387)

That's for gasses.... The article discusses... water as a liquid, acting as a solid... so no, Pressure (Pa) * Volume (m^3) != # moles * 8.31* T (K) here.

Re:PV = NRT . . . (4, Informative)

treeves (963993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875665)

Of course, PV=nRT is the ideal gas law, but there is a similar relationship for monolayers -(pi)A = nRT - a 2D analog of the ideal gas law for a layer one molecule thick which is often a liquid on another liquid or on a solid. This is when the monolayer is sparse enough that it acts like a gas, even though it may be comprised of molecules which are liquid at that temperature. Pi in the formula is the film pressure and A is the area. This is not really related to the phenomena described in TFA.

Re:PV = NRT . . . (2, Informative)

treeves (963993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875739)

That's not supposed to be -pi*A = nRT, but just pi*A = nRT. I should have used a colon instead of a dash.

Re:PV = NRT . . . (1)

NotmyNick (1089709) | more than 7 years ago | (#18880021)

Wow! So that's how you get +8 Informative!

Re:PV = NRT . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876269)

Yeah, I realized right after I posted that I just don't remember any phase change equations anymore. My bad.

Re:PV = NRT . . . (1)

CoffeeSahn (1093387) | more than 7 years ago | (#18879541)

Wouldn't this effect be created by the fact that there are fewer intermolecular forces being acted upon by the water molecules?

Nanoscale lubricant? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875285)

Well, based on poor results getting it on in a swimmin pool, I can verify that water is a lousy lubricant at normal scale!

Re:Nanoscale lubricant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875337)

Now the pool will have to be closed due to AIDS.

Re:Nanoscale lubricant? (0, Offtopic)

number1scatterbrain (976838) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875357)

You should try a real live vagina instead of the Palmer Twins.

Re:Nanoscale lubricant? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875369)

So, what you're saying is, your equipment isn't quite small enough to qualify as nanoscale?

I keed, I keed...

Re:Nanoscale lubricant? (1)

jdcool88 (954991) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875889)

Something tells me the 'poor results' had nothing to do with the water...

Re:Nanoscale lubricant? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876231)

It was the shrinkage factor?

Re:Nanoscale lubricant? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876199)

A silicone lubricant will solve that problem for ya.

Re:Nanoscale lubricant? (5, Funny)

Pesh Hawksfire (928893) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877459)

Rule 24 of the internet: Pics or it didn't happen.

Re:Nanoscale lubricant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18879365)

You should have loosened your grip a little to compensate.

Bend over, Roland (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875295)

Here's an microscope [] . On behalf of everybody on slashdot, we're going to use atomic force. In deference to your occasional useful post, we're going to allow you a thin layer of water as a lubricant.

Re:Bend over, Roland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875801)

And we're going to give you ONE piece of toilet paper afterwards.

Not only thin... (5, Funny)

gillbates (106458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875375)

But cold water also acts like a solid at times.

Re:Not only thin... (5, Funny)

wsherman (154283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875869)

But cold water also acts like a solid at times.
Unless you're trying to walk on it - then it acts like a banana.

Re:Not only thin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876019)

I thought that Fruit Flies like a banana.

Re:Not only thin... (5, Funny)

Some_Llama (763766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878627)

But cold water also acts like a solid at times.

Unless you're trying to walk on it - then it acts like a banana.

And when you're trying to stick your tongue to it, then it acts like an adhesive.

obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875403)

This should be obvious since we know that you can cut things with a slim jet of water going out at high pressure.

in other news (2, Funny)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875423)

Canadians and those from other northen countries let out an audible "DUH!" when reading a Slashdot article that stated that solid water is slippery. Speed skaters everywhere found rolling on the floor in hystarics.

more at 6:00

Re:in other news (-1, Offtopic)

richdun (672214) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875499)


Pot, kettle, etc. etc.

Re:in other news (0, Offtopic)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875523)

must be nice to have english as your first language

Re:in other news (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875929)

Yes. English has many unique features, such as the capitalization of the first word of a sentence and the termination of such with a period.

Re:in other news (1)

charlieman (972526) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876463)

I thought those were bugs.

Re:in other news (1)

kage.j (721084) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877069)

NO! They're features!

Re:in other news (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875525)

Well, you're partially right. The liquid water on frozen water is indeed very slippery. This is what allows ice skaters to skate, the blade glides along a thin film of liquid water. Frozen water on its own, however is not that slick.

Re:in other news (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877203)

I thought it was still various theories on this and no real prove that it's really a liquid water film on top of the ice?

Re:in other news (1)

dwarfsoft (461760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877863)

Is this theory like evolution the theory?

Rudy Guiliani: Former Presidential Candidate (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875677)

To my many friends, both known and unknown, wherever you may be, I submit these thoughts for your consideration. As this letter will make clear, Rudy Guiliani recently stated that freedom must be abolished in order for people to be more secure and comfortable. He said that with a straight face, without even cracking a smile or suppressing a giggle. He said it as if he meant it. That's scary, because his reason is not true reason. It does not seek the truth, but only addlepated answers, subhuman resolutions to conflicts. Yes, he may have some superficial charm, but Guiliani wants nothing less than to fight with spiritual weapons that are as refractory as they are pernicious, hence his repeated, almost hypnotic, insistence on the importance of his acrimonious revenge fantasies. Whenver he tries to fortify our feeble spirits with a few rehearsed words of bravado, I can't help but think that his occasional demonstrations of benevolence are not genuine. Nor are Guiliani's promises. In fact, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to detect the subtext of this letter. But just in case it's too subliminal for some, let me thrust it into your face right here: He is right about one thing, namely that fear is what motivates us. Fear of what it means when flagitious, inhumane ideologues promote group-think attitudes over individual insights. Fear of what it says about our society when we teach our children that there should be publicly financed centers of cynicism. And fear of pestilential, rapacious choleric-types like Guiliani who appropriate sacred symbols for crass purposes. Although grotty fogeys are relatively small in number compared to the general population, they are rapidly increasing in size and fervor. How dare Guiliani criticize my values when his are so obviously irrationalism-prone? Alas, he has been trying hard to protect what has become a lucrative racket for him. Unfortunately, that lucrative racket has a hard-to-overlook consequence: it will set the wolf to mind the sheep in the immediate years ahead.

Guiliani uses big words like "nondeterministic" to make himself sound important. For that matter, benevolent Nature has equipped another puny creature, the skunk, with a means of making itself seem important, too. Although Guiliani's notions may reek like a skunk, Guiliani's crusades are destructive. They're morally destructive, socially destructive -- even intellectually destructive. And, as if that weren't enough, Guiliani's method (or school, or ideology -- it is hard to know exactly what to call it) goes by the name of "Guiliani-ism". It is a phlegmatic and avowedly self-serving philosophy that aims to strap us down with a network of rules and regulations. Now, I hope Guiliani was joking when he implied he was going to impugn the patriotism of his opponents, but it sure didn't sound like it. He's more than malicious. Guiliani's mega-malicious. In fact, to understand just how malicious he is, you first need to realize that Guiliani contends that there's no difference between normal people like you and me and resentful, nit-picky common blood-stained criminals. Excuse me, but where exactly did this little factoid come from? On the surface, it would seem merely that I am confident that vulgar, hostile devotees of conspiracy theories will come to their own conclusions about all of these matters. But the truth is that he's a psychologically defective person. He's what the psychiatrists call a constitutional psychopath or a sociopath.

The academicism "debate" is not a debate. It is a harangue, a politically motivated, brilliantly publicized, larcenous attack on progressive ideas. It would be wrong to imply that Guiliani is involved in some kind of conspiracy to rob us of our lives, our health, our honor, and our belongings. It would be wrong because his insults are far beyond the conspiracy stage. Not only that, but he shouldn't pervert the course of justice. That's just plain common sense. Of course, the people who appreciate his expostulations are those who eagerly root up common sense, prominently hold it out, and decry it as poison with astonishing alacrity. I have the following advice for him: If you can't manage to be grateful for all the things we've done for you, at least have a little dignity, don't whine, and don't expect to be treated like a fragile doll just because you have a theatrically hypersensitive soul and delusions of entitlement. In case you don't know, there is no doubt that Guiliani will adopt approaches that have not been tested to try to solve problems that have not been well-defined when you least expect it. Believe me, I would give everything I own to be wrong on that point, but the truth is that we can all have daydreams about Happy Fuzzy Purple Bunny Land, where everyone is caring, loving, and nice. Not only will those daydreams not come true, but Guiliani has -- not once, but several times -- been able to clear forests, strip the topsoil, and turn a natural paradise into a dust bowl through a self-induced drought without anyone stopping him. How long can that go on? As long as his indecent, ostentatious harangues are kept on life support. That's why we have to pull the plug on them and create and nurture a true spirit of community. There are some simple truths in this world. First, writing instructors seeking to introduce the concept of "sexism" into their curricula could hardly do better than to use Guiliani's principles as an example. Second, Guiliani has shown he's not afraid to be contemptuous. And finally, the first thing we need to do is to get Guiliani to admit that he has a problem. He should be counseled to recite the following:

        * I, Rudy Guiliani, am a capricious devil-worshipper.
        * I have been a participant in a giant scheme to pit people against each other.
        * I hereby admit my addiction to interdenominationalism. I ask for the strength and wisdom to fight this addiction.

Once Guiliani realizes that he has a problem, maybe then he'll see that he maintains a "Big Brother" dossier of personal information about everyone he distrusts, to use as a potential career-ruining weapon. Is your name listed in that dossier? It is bootless to speculate on the matter, but it should be noted that Guiliani's vaporings are rife with contradictions and difficulties; they're totally wanton, meet no objective criteria, and are unsuited for a supposedly educated population. And as if that weren't enough, the best thing about Guiliani is the way that he encourages us to convince foolhardy, lawless dips to stop supporting Guiliani and tolerating his "compromises". No, wait; Guiliani doesn't encourage that. On the contrary, he discourages us from admitting that it's a pity that two thousand years after Christ, the voices of snarky, piteous fomenters of revolution like him can still be heard, worse still that they're listened to, and worst of all that anyone believes them.

I'll let you in on a little secret: honest people will admit that Guiliani's cabal is reminiscent of the French Jacobin Club and its morbid obsession with power, death, and lexiphanicism. Concerned people are not afraid to get us out of the hammerlock that Guiliani is holding us in. And sensible people know that Guiliani is firmly convinced that he is forward-looking, open-minded, and creative. His belief is controverted, however, by the weight of the evidence indicating that once people obtain the critical skills that enable them to think and reflect and speculate independently, they'll realize that almost every day, Guiliani outreaches himself in setting new records for arrogance, deceit, and greed. It's unmistakably breathtaking to watch him. I should note that Guiliani tries to make us think the way he wants us to think, not by showing us evidence and reasoning with us, but by understanding how to push our emotional buttons. I'm not an abhorrent person. I'd like nothing more than to extend my hand in friendship to Guiliani's sycophants and convey my hope that in the days to come we can work together to give direction to a universal human development of culture, ethics, and morality. Unfortunately, knowing them, they'd rather make people weak and dependent because that's what Guiliani wants. It is immature and stupid of him to make a fetish of the virtues of prolix incendiarism. It would be mature and intelligent, however, to build a world overflowing with compassion and tolerance, and that's why I say that we could opt to sit back and let him encourage young people to break all the rules, cut themselves loose from their roots, and adopt a hideous lifestyle. Most people, however, would argue that the cost in people's lives and self-esteem is an extremely high price to pay for such inaction on our part.

Once again, there may be nothing we can do to prevent Guiliani from making good on his word to reinforce the concept of collective guilt that is the root of all prejudice. When we compare this disturbing conclusion to the comforting picture purveyed by his cringers, we experience psychological stress or "cognitive dissonance". Our only recourse is to examine Guiliani's worldview from the perspective of its axiology (values) and epistemology (ways of knowing). No matter how much talk and analysis occurs, his acolytes actually believe the bunkum they're always mouthing. That's because these classes of power-drunk lounge lizards are idealistic, have no sense of history or human nature, and they think that what they're doing will improve the world sooner or later. In reality, of course, Guiliani says that he is a perpetual victim of injustice. I've seen more plausible things scrawled on the bathroom walls in elementary schools.

If nothing else, Guiliani's skills are generally used to exploit, abuse, and exert power. So don't feed me any phony baloney about how he is a paragon of morality and wisdom. That's just not true. Guiliani not only lies, but he brags about his lying to his brethren. I am making a pretty serious accusation here. I am accusing him of planning to dismantle the guard rails that protect society from the malign elements in its midst. And I don't want anyone to think that I am basing my accusation only on the fact that his trained seals all look like him, think like him, act like him, and strip people of their rights to free expression and individuality, just like Guiliani does. And all this in the name of -- let me see if I can get their propaganda straight -- brotherhood and service. Ha! His pleas are designed to shame my name. And they're working; they're having the desired effect.

Even if flippant thugs join Guiliani's band with the best of intentions, they will still repeat the mistakes of the past in the near future. Not all, I hasten to add, do join with the best of intentions. A few days ago, Guiliani actually admitted that he wants to concoct labels for people, objects, and behaviors in order to manipulate the public's opinion of them. Can you believe that? Perhaps Guiliani forgot to take his antipsychotics that day. An additional clue is that the unalterable law of biology has a corollary that is generally overlooked. Specifically, he is the picture of the insane person on the street, babbling to a tree, a wall, or a cloud, which cannot and does not respond to his doctrines.

Griping about Guiliani will not make him stop trying to subordinate principles of fairness to less admirable criteria. But even if it did, he would just find some other way to ruin my entire day. He has remarked that courtesy and manners don't count for anything. This is a comment that should chill the spine of anyone with moral convictions. To make sure you understand, I'll spell it out for you. For starters, when I was a child, my clergyman told me, "The ideological underpinnings of Guiliani's codices have struck a receptive chord among thousands of morally repugnant smut peddlers." If you think about it you'll see his point. The question, therefore, must not be, "Why doesn't Guiliani try doing something constructive for once in his life?", but rather, "Why, in the name of all that is good and holy, does Guiliani want to provide huffy maniacs with an irresistible temptation to spread boosterism all over the globe like pigeon droppings over Trafalgar Square?". The latter question is the better one to ask, because every time he tries, Guiliani gets increasingly successful in his attempts to make us the helpless puppets of our demographic labels. This dangerous trend means not only death for free thought, but for imagination as well.

Perhaps it sounds like stating the obvious to say that Guiliani is like a pigeon. Pigeons are too self-absorbed to care about anyone else. They poo on people they don't like; they poo on people they don't even know. The only real difference between Guiliani and a pigeon is that Guiliani intends to wiretap all of our telephones and computers. That's why I do not appreciate being labeled. No one does. Nevertheless, Guiliani's passive-aggressive cajoleries are in full flower, and their poisonous petals of fascism are blooming all around us. Guiliani is the éminence grise behind every plot to organize a whispering campaign against me. Yes, I could add that he is a loose cannon, but I wanted to keep my message simple and direct. I didn't want to distract you from the main thrust of my message, which is that by refusing to act, by refusing to oppose Guiliani and all he stands for, we are giving Guiliani the power to exert more and more control over other individuals.

Should we blindly trust such flighty, malignant airheads? You'd think I'd be pretty well inured by now to the lunacies of Guiliani's subliminal psywar campaigns, but I have to say that Guiliani likes to cite poll results that "prove" that he is the ultimate authority on what's right and what's wrong. Really? Have you ever been contacted by one of his pollsters? Chances are good that you never have been contacted and never will be. Otherwise, the polls would show that one does not have to compose paeans to feudalism in order to debunk the nonsense spouted by Guiliani's operatives. It is a putrid person who believes otherwise. My message is clear: His nostrums are not an abstract problem. They have very concrete, immediate, and unpleasant consequences. For instance, he decries or dismisses capitalism, technology, industrialization, and systems of government borne of Enlightenment ideas about the dignity and freedom of human beings. These are the things that Guiliani fears, because they are wedded to individual initiative and responsibility. Let me end by appealing to our collective sense of humanity: Thanks to Rudy Guiliani, our national and individual sovereignty is fluttering precariously in the wind.

J. McCain

Duh, Roland (3, Interesting)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876513)

Density and viscosity are the primary factors when choosing a lubricant. Water happens to have a pretty low viscosity. The point of article is that the effective viscosity increases by several orders of magnitude in truely thin sheets and takes an ordered form like a solid in one direction but not the others, not that thicker films of water can be used as a lubricant. In fact, they found that as the gap gets down to a nanometer, it becomes a less effective lubricant.

I started typing this and thought to myself, "Something about the way that submission is written and how it misses the point of the article smells of Roland Piquepaille."

I wasn't at all surprised when I went back and checked the author to see his name and standard question-link-quote writing format.

Now I'm curious because the pressure they apply seems to be of interest here. I'm curious if 3 dimensional order appears under high isotropic pressures. If so, I'd expect this to be possible in larger volumes with sufficient pressure, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if the viscosity increased, too.

Re:Duh, Roland (2, Informative)

snoop.daub (1093313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877721)

Yes, liquid water under pressure at room temperature will indeed solidify. You need a hell of a lot of pressure, and the crystal form will be one of the other 12 known forms of ice, not the familiar ice(I) we know and love. In this case, it's actually ice(VII), a high pressure form consisting of two interpenetrating cubic lattices. The interpenetrating lattices allow more water to squeeze into a smaller space than in the liquid. Water is a truly unique substance, from a physical chemistry standpoint. It often acts in ways that go against your physical intuition about how stuff should act. The obvious example everyone knows is the fact that the solid form is less dense than the liquid (so that ice floats), but there are many others. Lots of good reliable info here: []

Re:in other news (2, Informative)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18879087)

If I'm not mistake, solid water isn't actually slipper in and of itself.. its the thin layer of liquid water we create whenever touching it and applying pressure. Look up curling [] .

Of course I'm open to enlightenment if I've got something wrong.


We already know this... (5, Funny)

kansei (731975) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875451)'s called prison lube.

Re:We already know this... (4, Funny)

jcgf (688310) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875707)

uh, how did you know that?

Re:We already know this... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876039)

shut up, skittlebitch

Nanoscale Fluidic Logic (1, Interesting)

vertigoCiel (1070374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875485)

What I want to know is: can the layers be manipulated individually? If so, then that shows promise for nano-scale, water-based logic circuitry. Such "circuitry" could continue to function in the event of severe EMP event, such as in a nuclear attack. Promising.

Not necessarily EMP-proof... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875871)

See "electrohydrodynamic"; though the effect may only be momentary, it might be devastating to whatever "state" such a device's "components" would be in at that moment...

Re:Nanoscale Fluidic Logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18877035)

It wouldn't be very promising if your server evaporated would it?

Re:Nanoscale Fluidic Logic (2, Insightful)

wwillia99 (984401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877785)

Now we know why the internet is a series of tubes. Thats how they pump the water.

GPL = GNAA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875571)

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But what is the channel made of? (3, Interesting)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875611)

If it is hydrophobic, what we see may actually be the effect of lost entropy due to rearrangement of water molecules, rather than compression.

Re:But what is the channel made of? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875857)

try RTFA, your question is directly answered there (you idiot).

Re:But what is the channel made of? (5, Interesting)

snoop.daub (1093313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876277)

This is a hydrophilic channel. In a hydrophobic channel, the vapor phase is more stable than the liquid, so you get "cavitation" or "dewetting", as you approach the walls of the channel closer and closer, at some point all the water gets pushed out of the channel and the walls get pushed together.

The phenomenon is well understood in the hydrophobic case, both experimentally and in simulations. This experiment is new, up till now they couldn't get down to such small separations, but they are overstating the case when they claim that this is a complete surprise... as another poster said, many many simulation studies have suggested a structuring of water near hydrophilic surfaces.

Another neat thing happens when you have one wall hydrophobic and one wall hydrophilic. This has been dubbed a "Janus interface" after the two-faced Roman god, and there's a lot of interest in them.

Re:But what is the channel made of? (3, Informative)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876575)

OK, I read the paper, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.75.115415.

They did experiment with a Molecular Iamge PicoPlus AFM with the funny sound proof box and rubber bands, if you saw such a system you will know what I mean. The tip they used had a stiff cantilever and was "likely to be oxidized". They carefully controlled the sample surface and make it perpendicular to the tip. And they did the experiment on three surface, mica, soda lime untreated glass and highly oriented hydrophobic graphite.

And the result is hydrophilic surfaces showed increased viscosity and the hydrophobic surface showed no change.

ATTN: TROLLEURS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875633) []

Search works now. Stay tuned for the voting feature.

the actual reference... (4, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875663)

There's actually alot of evidence in the literature suggesting that water forms a "structured layer" on hydrophillic (water-compatible) surfaces, and around hydrophillic objects dispersed in water. For instance the mobility of water that structures around proteins has been described in the literature as "ice-like." These measurements are typically based on the density of the water or using things like conductivity to infer mobility.

So the notion of water forming solid-like structures near surfaces is not entirely new. However, direct mechanical measurements of the mobility/viscosity of those last few atomic layers of water are not easy, so this paper certainly adds a valuable contribution to the field.

The actual scientific paper in question can be found here: []

Re:the actual reference... (4, Interesting)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876323)

For anyone interested, the figures in the paper show clearly the structuring of water in layers near the surface. Moreover they directly measure that the viscosity jumps up considerably for distances less than 2 nm. The viscosity goes from the bulk water value (9E-4 Pa*s) when far from the surface, and increases to as high as 50 Pa*s (500 Poise or 50,000 cP) in the last 0.5 nm. To give you an rough idea of what this means, note that 50,000 cP is similar to the (bulk) viscosity of things like honey or ketchup (for a random table of values, see here [] or here [] ).

Of course this higher-viscosity persists only over a very short-range, but understanding these "nano-mechanical" properties is crucial for the design and construction of future nano-scale devices.

Folding@Home did research with this (5, Informative)

cdogbert (964753) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875667)

From what I can tell, F@H touched on this [] a while ago. I was reading the PS3 F@H articles, browsing through the "what good does F@H do?" and the "F@H is just a feel-good project" comments and looking at the results page [] when I stumbled across the above PDF and thought "Hey, that looks like something slashdot just reported on."

more prior research (4, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877869)

Turns out some guy in the middle east figured this out a couple of millennia ago. They called him the Nazarene or something; apparently even did some tricks where he walked on the stuff. Once again, slashdot is just recycling old news.

Sounds familiar... (0, Offtopic)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875687)

I guess that's what the plumber downstairs had in mind when trying to unblock a clog with water that shot straight up the common wall pipe and out of my kitchen sink to flood the floor [] .

Cogent blows (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875731)

Browsing on my DSL line and blowing off the network support line because cogentco seems to be having issues somewhere on the east coast.
To the Verizon tech that was in there working, please put the power cord you took from the running equipment in Cogent's cage back. Grab your coffee and walk to your damn truck and get your own. I'd like this to be done immediately so I can still leave work at 5:00pm EST.

IANASBIPOOTV But, DUH! (2, Informative)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875735)

"What happens when you compress water in a nano-sized space? According to Georgia Tech physicists, water starts to behave like a solid.

Alright, you know, if you had asked me this question, way back when, I would have said it acts like a solid. Why is this news, am I missing something?

IANASBIPOOTV? DUH! (0, Offtopic)

loimprevisto (910035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875925)


Ok, I'll bite. You're not a Super-Brilliant, Innovative Person Occasionaly On TeleVision?

Re:IANASBIPOOTV But, DUH! (4, Funny)

mstahl (701501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876311)

Oh my god I can't believe I actually read that as "I Am Not A Scientist But I Play One On TV". . . .

Be back soon guys . . . I'm gonna go outside for a while.


Pollardito (781263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877839)

i can't imagine how many resources we waste every year researching and demonstrating things that we would have known for free had we just asked you "way back when". actually, i imagine if i just ask you how much we'd save with this method that'd be easier than trying to calculate it

What happens when you learn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875777)

that "it's" is the contraction for "it is", and not the possessive of "it"?

Re:What happens when you learn (1, Flamebait)

Deanalator (806515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876291)

Why is its the only non apostrophized possessive? Strictly adhering to antiquated rules that make no sense kills the natural progression of language

Re:What happens when you learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876527)

No possessive pronoun has an apostrophe: My, our, your, his, her, its, their.

Re:What happens when you learn (1)

tpearson (621275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876531)

His, hers, ours, theirs - there aren't apostrophes in any possessive pronouns.

Re:What happens when you learn (1)

Deanalator (806515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877577)

Point taken. I still think it's strange that the apostrophe is used in marking the possessive for all nouns except the pronouns. It was an arbitrary decision some guy made one day, with no real sensible basis, so the user confusion is more than understandable. From what I have seen on wikipedia, even top scholars still disagree on apostrophe usage.

I think the bigger issue is that the apostrophe is used to mark omissions and possessiveness. I would be happier if things that sounded the same looked the same on paper. More than phonetics, it should go for punctuation as well.

Re:What happens when you learn (1)

tpearson (621275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877815)

I agree completely - it's hard enough learning all the inconsistencies as a native speaker; I'd hate trying to learn English as a second language.

Re:What happens when you learn (2, Interesting)

SpiritusGladius1517 (929800) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876589)

It's not the only one.

My, mine, your, yours, his, hers, theirs, our, and ours come to mind. None of the posessive pronouns take an apostrophe.

Re:What happens when you learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876619)

I don't know, but I'll try to answer _your_ question with _my_ answer.

Re:What happens when you learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876685)

What do you mean by "the only non apostrophized possessive"? There are also his, her, and their - I am pretty sure he's she's and they's are not possessive...

Re:What happens when you learn (5, Funny)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876719)

Why is its the only non apostrophized possessive?

I think he has hi's possessives right.


Re:What happens when you learn (1)

GnrcMan (53534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878625)

Actually, there is a good, if obscure reason.

When you add an apostrophe s to the end of a noun, you're creating a contraction of the noun and the possessive pronoun. At least that was the intention when the rule was invented

gnrcman's is a contraction of "grncman his", girl's is a contraction of "girl hers"

So if you were to put the apostrophe in "its" the contraction would be "it its", which is really a bit recursive. :)

water = sexy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875829)

They said lubricant, horizontal, AND viscous! Excellent.

Water is a wonderful lubricant (yeah right) (1)

passionfruit (1091373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875867)

"water is a wonderful lubricant" ok i'll remember that next time i'm with my girlfriend :P

Well... (1, Funny)

Seoulstriker (748895) | more than 7 years ago | (#18875975)

Is your "girlfriend" a water-bottle?

Re:Water is a wonderful lubricant (yeah right) (1)

Chtulhu (1033546) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876159)

water and computers don't mix, ok?

Re:Water is a wonderful lubricant (yeah right) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876543)

it's a wonderful lubricant if your tool is nano-scale :D

Re:Water is a wonderful lubricant (yeah right) (1)

gmac63 (12603) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876905)

Sounds reasonable enough. You know we are all mostly water anyhow....

frist 5top (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18875961)

I know it sux0rs, the r3sources that 1. Therefore it's JOiN THE GNAA!! you have a play and sold in the appeared...saying gone Romeo and A way to spend world. GNAA members

Ripley's Believe It or Not Ball (3, Interesting)

infosystech (1093309) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876071)

How about just outside the Gatlinburg museum's entrance, visitors can see a 5-ton solid granite ball floating and spinning on 1/264 of an inch of pressurized water. Visitors may put their hands on the 4-foot diameter ball and spin it in another direction. Or the Merchant Family Memorial (Ripley's Believe It or Not Ball).

Idiots, water lubricants are great! (0, Troll)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876081)

If you have ever gotten laid, like me - you would know that waterbased lubricants are great for carnal pleasures. Just watch Talk Sex with that canadian chick on the show. She's always babbling about how waterbased lubricants are the way to go. They help a lot. They prevent a condom from tearing, and they should be used if you're going in 'the other door'.

Back on topic, will this 'discovery' in nanobased water lubricant be functional in almost all applications? I mean, you can't use this in a system that will cause a lot of friction, as that will cause the water to expand and simply break due to no lubrication. It looks like this can only be applied on systems that do no cause heat buildup.

WE use petroleum based lubricants because they can take the heat much better than water can.

Re:Idiots, water lubricants are great! (1)

CreatureComfort (741652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876221)

Petroleum based lubricants last much longer than water based, under continuous usage.

Oh... you hadn't discovered that... so sorry.

Re:Idiots, water lubricants are great! (1)

passionfruit (1091373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876859)

right on dude. plus, petroleum based lubricants are also better conductors of heat, in case you've noticed.

Re:Idiots, water lubricants are great! (1)

Puff Daddy (678869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877027)

That may be, but you'll find your condom doesn't last quite so long as the lubricant.

Re:Idiots, water lubricants are great! (2, Informative)

BashMuttons (1026128) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877739)

Yep..Oil/petroleum-based lubricants have been proven to deteriorate the latex in the condom and aren't safe at all, fyi.

Re:Idiots, water lubricants are great! (2, Interesting)

xtal (49134) | more than 7 years ago | (#18879387)

Polyurethane condoms are not affected by oil based lubricants.


Re:Idiots, water lubricants are great! (1)

stanmann (602645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18879929)

Polyurethane condoms are not affected by oil based lubricants.
True, but they also aren't as flexible, soft and elastic.

Re:Idiots, water lubricants are great! (2, Informative)

treeves (963993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877571)

Water != water-based. Typically water-based includes glycerin, polyethylene glycol, or other substances. The viscosity of pure water is much lower than that of water-based lubricants.

Re:Idiots, water lubricants are great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18878251)

Silicon-based Lubricants are much better than water-based. (At least, they feel a lot better, aren't sticky, feel silky, and last 10x longer. I don't believe they fuck with latex either.)

Re:Idiots, water lubricants are great! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18879505)

just the perfect lubricant for a nano-sized dick. great news for slashdot readers!

Contrary to Popular Belief (4, Funny)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876207)

Contrary to popular belief, water organizes into layers when compressed into a nano-sized channel.

I can't believe the popular notions of water in a nano-sized channel are false! Soon they'll be saying that the attorney general acts like a solid under pressure in a nano-sized tube. If we can't believe the popular notions of nano-tube water behavior, what can we believe? My life is a lie!

Never! (1)

geekinaseat (1029684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876225)

An element acting like a solid!! Whoever would have thought it?

Someone should have saved them some time and just told them to pop it in the freezer :P

Re:Never! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18880015)

Um, you got something wrong there.

ta3Xo (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876461)

Usenet is 8oughly 'superior' machine.

fuc ker (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18876643)

cycle; take a G00dbye...she had

shout out to the late kurt vonnegut (3, Informative)

k3v0 (592611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876655)

sounds like Ice 9 to me


Genius (1)

ack_call (870944) | more than 7 years ago | (#18876765)

Never have I ever heard such utter rubbish. These people really should get out more and get a grip on reality.

completely random science fiction reference (2, Interesting)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877325)

In Arthur C. Clarke's book "The City and the Stars" later re-released as 'Against the fall of Night", it mentions a slidewalk which was a solid in one dimension but a liquid in the other two. That way, you could walk onto the middle portion and be carried along by the "current" while standing. Still what do expect from a civilization a billion or two years in the future?

Grew up on his science fiction and fact books; "The Promise of Space" was seminal to my interest in space. Unfortunately his (alleged) personal discretions have cast a serious shadow over his legacy.

Introducing, KY Nano (1)

Nykon (304003) | more than 7 years ago | (#18877437)

"At the one nanometer scale, water is a viscous fluid and could be a much better lubricant," added another one.""

Oh good I was wondering when KY could finally enter into the water market.

Old news (1)

Mathness (145187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18878099)

Not just old, but ancient news. Jesus showed that effect almost two millennia ago. :p

Please learn to spell "its". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18878889)

Thank you. Spelling matters.

Bulk liquid properties (1)

0xC2 (896799) | more than 7 years ago | (#18879867)

The properties of liquids in bulk have been known to be considerably different than otherwise restricted states (films on surfaces, surface of bulk, capillary properties, adsorbed liquids, etc.) Water is strongly affected due to strong hydrogen bonding in addition to dipole forces. So what's new here?
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