Drop-in meeting about the words most remarkable substance - Water

Water is the world’s most marvellous substance. It forms the foundation for our existence as biological beings and possesses a wide range of unique qualities. On June the 8th Professor Dr. Scient. Søren Rud Keiding gave a fascinating insight into why water’s boiling point and heat capacity are so unusually high, and why it is cold at the top, also in a glass of water and fifty other cases where water behaves differently than all other known substances.

Did you know that water is the only know molecule, out of more than six million recorded, where you are able to see it in the liquid, solid and gas state all at once?

Søren gave a lot of examples about water’s unique abilities, but most of the examples were from situations which are very normal for us, situations where we don’t think that it is a unique ability of water. But for chemist and scientist they are absolute wonders.

An example would be that water is the only known substances where the solid state can float on top of the liquid state. For us it is the most normal thing, that when you put ice cubes in a glass of water, the ice cubes float. But water is the only substance that can do this!

And did you know that the water we drink on a daily basis, actually consists or two different types of water? There is HDL (high density liquid) and LDL (low density liquid), but these two different kinds of water would be impossible to separate, because all water molecules switch between being HDL and LDL many million times a second.

After the meeting it was time for a little bit of networking, and we had chosen to stay true to the theme and serve some watery refreshments, consisting of watermelon and mint and rhubarb flavored water 😋

Søren is the director of the Aarhus Institute for Advanced Studies, which brings talented researchers together from around the world in Aarhus. Throughout his career as a researcher, he has examined water using laser light and has among other things contributed and edited to the popular textbook “Viden om vand” (knowledge about water).

It was an interesting and informative afternoon.