Why Water is weird

Hamburg Photon Science Colloquium

  • Date: Jun 10, 2016
  • Time: 14:00 - 15:00
  • Speaker: Philip Ball
  • Freelance science writer, London, United Kingdom
  • Location: CFEL (Bldg. 99)
  • Room: Seminar Room I-III, EG.076-080
  • Host: CFEL, CUI, DESY, European XFEL, HZG, MPSD, SFB 925, UHH
Why Water is weird
All life on Earth needs water to survive. But increasingly it seems that the characteristics that make water a solvent for life are also those that make it the weirdest of liquids. Some of these quirks of ‘life’s matrix’ are well understood; others are still being debated, sometimes furiously and controversially. I will explore what we do and don’t know about water, ending with a consideration both of how its behaviour in living cells can offer clues for new purification technologies and of whether its unique role for life on Earth makes it a prerequisite for life on other worlds.
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