Frictionless Motion Observed in Water
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Frictionless Motion Observed in Water

November 10, 2011
In an experiment performed by chemists, a water sample containing cyanide molecules, each of which is basically a molecular stick with a carbon atom at one end and a nitrogen atom at the other, are spun with a laser. Within the first quarter-turn, each rotating cyanide molecule creates a shock wave that throws back the surrounding water molecules. Inside the resulting bubble, the molecule will then continue whirling for a time with essentially no friction. Although researchers say the discovery has no immediate practical use, it does impact how they think about the vast majority of chemical reactions--90 percent of which take place in liquid solutions.

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