Transcript: Dr. Gerald Pollack on The Fourth Phase of Water at TEDxGuelphU

We began learning about properties, and we’ve spent now quite a few years looking at the properties. And it looks something like this: You have a material next to water and these sheets of EZ layers begin to build, and they build and build and they just keep building up one by one. So, if you look at the structure of each one of these planes, you can see that it’s a honeycomb, hexagonal kind of structure, a bit like ice, but not ice.

And, if you look at it carefully, you can see the molecular structures. So, of course, it consists of hydrogen and oxygen, because it’s built from water. But, actually, they’re not water molecules. If you start counting the number of hydrogens and the number of oxygens, it turns out that it’s not H₂O. It’s actually HO. So, it is possible that there’s water that’s not H₂O, a phase of water.

So, we began looking, of course, more into these extremely interesting properties. And what we found is, if we stuck electrodes into the EZ water, because we thought there might be some electrical potential, it turned out that there’s lots of negative charge in that zone. And we used some dyes to seek positive charge, and we found that in the bulk water zone there was an equal amount of positivity.

So, what’s going on? It looked like is, that next to these interfaces the water molecule was somehow splitting up into a negative part and a positive part. And the negative part sat right next to the water-loving material. And the positive charges went out beyond that. We found it’s the same, you didn’t need a straight interface, you could also have a sphere. So, you put a sphere in the water, and any sphere that’s suspended in the water develops one of these exclusion zones, EZ’s, around it, with the negative charge, beyond that is all the positive charge. Charge separation. It didn’t have to be only a material sphere, in fact, you could put a droplet in there, a water droplet, or, in fact, even a bubble, you’d get the same result. Surrounding each one of these entities is a negative charge and the separated positive charge.

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So, here’s a question for you. If you take two of these negatively charged entities, and you drop them in a beaker of water near each other, what happens to the distance between them? I bet that 95% of you would say: Well, that’s easy, I learned in physics, negative and negative repel each other, so, therefore they’re going to go apart from one another, right? That what you’d guess? Well, the actual result if you think about it, is that it’s not only the negative charge but you also have positive charge. And the positive charge is especially concentrated in between those two spheres, because they come from contributions from both of those spheres. So, there are a lot of them there.

When you have positive in between two negatives what happens is that you get an attractive force. And so you expect these two spheres to actually come together despite the fact that they have the same charge, and that’s exactly what happens. It’s been known for many years. They come together, and if you have many of them, instead of just two of them, you’ll get something that looks like this. They’ll come together and this is called a colloid crystal. It’s a stable structure. In fact, the yogurt that you might have had this morning probably consists of what you see right here. So, they come together because of the opposite charge.

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