Scientists have isolated the two different forms of water molecule for the first time, reports BBC.
Water molecules were known to exist as two distinct “isomers”, or types, based on their slightly different properties at the atomic level.By separating out the two isomers, researchers were able to show that they behave differently in the way that they undergo chemical reactions.
The work appears in Nature Communications. In basic terms, water molecules consist of a single oxygen atom bonded to a pair of hydrogen atoms (H₂O).
However, they can be further subdivided based on a property of the nuclei at the hearts of the hydrogen atoms - their “spin”.
While they aren’t spinning in the sense we would understand, this property of hydrogen nuclei does affect the rotation of the water molecules themselves.