Energetic Pursuit


Scientists know that atoms turn mobile when temperatures rise. A team demonstrated their moves at varying temperatures. In the interaction between water and cyanide, at low temperatures, the boomerang-shaped water molecules held still while each barbell-shaped cyanide ion teetered on one of the two arms of a water molecule. At high temperatures, the cyanide molecule was still but the water molecule danced around. This study is important for scientists who study how pollutants move through water and air.


Down To Earth, October 2009