Scientists are the first to turn water into a golden metal

Helmholtz Center Berlin (HZB)

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Most people who are knowledgeable about physics and technology may be surprised that water is an insulator and not a conductor of electricity.

In addition, nature reports that this is due to pollution. Tap water contains salts, so it is electrically conductive. In the case of distilled water, it is an insulating material because the water molecules are electrically neutral. In order for distilled water to become a conductive substance, its structure must change so that free electrons can appear in it.

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This situation can be achieved by placing water at a pressure of 48 megabars. In this way electrons can be “released” from water molecules, but such pressure is not available in laboratory or production conditions. This is because such pressure exists only at the centers of planets and large stars.

However, German scientists working at the BESSY II unit in Berlin were able to replace other electrons with free electrons from water molecules. This unique experiment brought together experts from 11 scientific institutions around the world. During this time, researchers replaced the electrons of water molecules with the electrons of alkali metals, which could be easily obtained from the outer shells of their atoms.

But how to add water to the alkali metal, giving it electrons is the problem. As is well known, when these metals come in contact with water, they begin to make a loud noise, “making a small noise”, and sometimes swell and explode. Therefore, the researchers did not immerse the alkali metal in water, but rather put a thin layer in a vacuum chamber on its surface, from which an alloy of sodium and potassium drops. In Room Schma, both of these elements are in a liquid state, with water vapor coming from another nozzle, which covered the surface of the droplets in the liquid metal alloy. Electrons and cations (atoms with lost electrons) flow from the droplets to the outer layer of water. As a result, water became a conductor of electricity. That is, water turned from an insulating material to a metal.

Researcher Robert Seidel says, “In this experiment, the transition from metal to water can be observed with the naked eye, where the silver sodium-potassium alloy drop turns golden, which is really exciting.”

Studies of the resulting sample using optical and X-ray spectroscopy confirmed that water had become a mineral.
Seidel adds, “The results of this study show that mineral water can be found on Earth and has spectral properties related to its amazing golden mineral luster.”

Source: Vesti. Line

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