The Fourth Phase of Water

School children learn that water has three phases: solid, liquid and vapor. In 2003 Pollack’s group discovered a fourth phase. This phase occurs next to water-loving (hydrophilic) surfaces. It projects out from those surfaces by up to millions of molecular layers. And, its physical and chemical properties differ from those of ordinary liquid water. For example, the fourth phase massively excludes substances, much the same as ice.
Subsequent experiments show that this fourth phase is charged; and, the water just beyond is oppositely charged — creating a battery that can produce current. Light charges this battery. Thus, water receives and processes electromagnetic energy (light) drawn from the environment in much the same way as plants. This absorbed energy can be exploited for performing chemical, electrical, or mechanical work.
These new discoveries are rich with implication. Not only do they provide an understanding of how water processes solar and other energies, but also they provide a foundation for a fresh and ultimately simpler explanation of natural phenomena ranging from weather and green energy to biological phenomena such as the origin of life, transport, and osmosis.

The book is published in-house, by Ebner and Sons.

An elegant new theory of water chemistry that has profound implications not only for chemistry and biology, but for the metaphoric foundation of our understanding of reality and our treatment of nature and NOT some New Age book by someone of questionable scientific credentials and filled with speculative inquiry unburdened by scientific rigour. This is a book on chemistry, albeit one easily accessible to non-scientists.

One would think that after two hundred or more years of modern chemistry, something as fundamental and taken for granted by nearly all of us, something seemingly simple as water would be thoroughly understood by now. Be prepared to be surprised.

Fifteen everyday observations from the book:

  • Wet sand vs. dry sand: When stepping into dry sand, you sink deeply, but you hardly sink into the wet sand near the water’s edge. Wet sand is so firm that you can use it for building sturdy castles or large sand sculptures. The water evidently serves as an adhesive. But how exactly does water glue those sand particles together? (Chapter 8)
  • Ocean waves: Waves ordinarily dissipate after travelling a relatively short distance. However, tsunami waves can circumnavigate the Earth several times before finally petering out. Why do they persist for such immense distances? (Chapter 16)
  • Gelatin desserts: Gelatin desserts are mostly water. With all that water inside, you’d expect a lot of leakage. However, none occurs. Even from gels that are as much as 99.95% water, we see no dribbling. Why doesn’t all that water leak out? (Chapters 4 and 11)
  • Diapers: Similar to gels, diapers can hold lots of water: more than 50 times their weight of urine and 800 times their weight of pure water. How can they hold so much water? (Chapter 11)
  • Slipperiness of ice: Solid materials don’t usually slide past one another so easily: think of your shoes planted on a hilly street. Friction keeps you from sliding. If the hill is icy, however, then you must exercise great care to keep from falling on your face. Why does ice behave so differently from most solids? (Chapter 12)
  • Swelling: Your friend breaks her ankle during a tennis match. Her ankle swells to twice its normal size within a couple of minutes. Why does water rush so quickly into the wound? (Chapter 11)
  • Freezing warm water: A precocious middle-school student once observed something odd in his cooking class. From a powdered ice cream mix he could produce his frozen treat faster by adding warm water instead of cold water. This paradoxical observation has become famous. How is it that warm water can freeze more rapidly than cold water? (Chapter 17)
  • Rising water: Leaves are thirsty. In order to replace the water lost through evaporation in plants and trees, water flows upward from the roots through narrow columns. The commonly offered explanation asserts that the tops of the columns exert an upward drawing force on the water suspended beneath. In 100-meter-tall redwood trees, however, this is problematic: the weight of the water amassed in each capillary would suffice to break the column. Once broken, a column can no longer draw water from the roots. How does nature avert this debacle? (Chapter 15)
  • Breaking concrete: Concrete side-walks can be cracked open by up welling tree roots. The roots consist mainly of water. How is it possible that water-containing roots can exert enough pressure to break slabs of concrete? (Chapter 12)
  • Droplets on surfaces: Water droplets bead up on some surfaces and spread out on others. The degree of spread serves, in fact, as a basis for classifying diverse surfaces. Assigning a classification, however, doesn’t explain why the droplets spread, or how far they spread. What forces cause a water droplet to spread? (Chapter 14)
  • Walking on water: Perhaps you’ve seen videos of “Jesus Christ” lizards walking on pond surfaces. The lizards scamper from one end to the other. Water’s high surface tension comes to mind as a plausible explanation, but if surface tension derives from the top few molecular layers only, then that tension should be feeble. What is it about the water (or about the lizard) that makes possible this seemingly biblical feat? (Chapter 16)
  • Isolated clouds: Water vapour rises from vast uninterrupted reaches of the ocean’s water. That vapour should be everywhere. Yet puffy white clouds will often form as discrete entities, punctuating an otherwise clear blue sky. What force directs the diffuse rising vapour towards those specific sites? (Chapters 8 and 15)
  • Squeaky joints: Deep knee bends don’t generally elicit squeaks. That’s because water provides excellent lubrication between bones (actually, between cartilage layers that line the bones). What feature of water creates that vanishingly small friction? (Chapter 12)
  • Ice floats: Most substances contract when cooled. Water contracts as well — until 4 °C. Below that critical temperature water begins expanding, and very much so as it transitions to ice. That’s why ice floats. What’s special about 4 °C; and, why is ice so much less dense than water? (Chapter 17)
  • Yoghurt’s consistency: Why does yoghurt hold together as firmly as it does? (Chapter 8)