Science General

Answer key and teachers notes for the  Anomalous Water Quiz

1.  Water arrives at the tops of Redwoods, Sequoia sempervirens, and Douglas Firs coniferous trees 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 day, the water in the xylem is  metastable or more precisely:
D. superheated
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.
C. Sixfold

3. In an electric field, the ions of water: protons and hydroxide are
A. are incredibly fast see: Proton and hydroxide ion mobilities are anomalously fast in an electric field.

4. Water is A. diamagnetic and may be levitated in strong magnetic fields. see: Curving water surfaces

5.   Normal water ice is twenty to thirty times __________ than other everyday materials.
C. Slippier
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.
A. True
This is even more evident at a cellular level. Life takes advantage of these quirks.

7.  Substances that dissolve in water are
C. Polar compounds meaning having separate of centers of positive and negative electrical charge
or Hydrophilic

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 memory.
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 higher temperature.
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.

10. Heavy Water ice
C. sinks in normal water
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 other animal. They have such high levels in their bodies that they excrete urea through their skin. Name this group of animals:
cartilaginous fishes like  Sharks and rays

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)

Recomended Books:

Life's Matrix by Philip Ball.
Atkins' Molecules
by Peter William Atkins