Answer key and teachers notes for the Anomalous
1. Water arrives at the tops of
sempervirens, and Douglas Firs coniferous
of the genus
Pseudotsuga, via the xylem by using the water
loss in the leaves. This is surprising since these trees can be over
100 meters tall and water cannot be raised higher than approximately
ten meters by vacuum alone. Curiously, on an average summer
water in the xylem is metastable or more
It sounds odd but the pressure is less
actually than zero and since the water is in a metastable state it is
"stretched" over the 110 or so meters to the top of the tree.
2. The _____ fold symmetry of snowflakes
may have been known to Chinese
Alchemists for millennia since they attribute this number to water.
3. In an electric field, the ions of water: protons and hydroxide are
incredibly fast see: Proton and
hydroxide ion mobilities are anomalously fast in an electric field.
4. Water is A. diamagnetic
may be levitated in strong magnetic fields. see: Curving water surfaces
5. Normal water
ice is twenty to thirty times __________ than other everyday
Obviously, try skiing on pavement or skating with a pair of ice
skates on a tiled floor.
(Yes if you add
wheels to reduce the friction to skis or wear rollerblades the
experience is similar to being on a ice surface.)
These winter sports could not exist without water's abnormal properties.
6. True or False: When confined
in narrow spaces water can change significantly its properties.
This is even more evident at a cellular
level. Life takes advantage of these quirks.
7. Substances that dissolve in
C. Polar compounds
separate of centers of
positive and negative electrical charge
8. Water plays an intrinsic role in
E. all of the above
Many of those answers are pretty surprising. I could have added Homeopathy if I
wanted a little contraversy. Especially if I talked about water
Note: Krilian photography is a real effect it just is not a reflection
of iving auras.
9. When a non polar gas like methane is
dissolved in water it __________ of the solution
B. raises the
freezing point in other words the solution will turn solid at a
This explains some what how layers of methane hydrate or clathrate
(resembling water ice btw) have been found on the slopes of the
continetal shelves surrounded by sea water.
C. sinks in normal
Heavy water has quite a few properties that
differ from normal water, unfortunately they don't include cold fusion.
Bonus question: Our
bodies are mainly composed of
water and keeping the right level of PH, salts, sugar etc is very
important. To remove excess nitrogen animals use either urea or uric
acid. One group of
animals can handle levels of urea in their blood that would kill any
animal. They have such high levels in their bodies that they excrete
urea through their skin. Name this group of animals:
fishes like Sharks
You may want to visit:
The sister quiz to this one: Chemical
and Physical Properties of Water
which explores some other weird properties of this liquid
(suggestions for other water related sites or books are welcome)
by Philip Ball.
Atkins' Molecules by Peter William Atkins