Icy claim that water has memory

A paper published in the reputable journal Physica A, claims to show that even though they should be identical, the structure of hydrogen bonds in pure water is very different from that in homeopathic dilutions of salt solutions. Could it be time to take the “memory” of water seriously?

The paper’s author, Swiss chemist Louis Rey, is using thermoluminescence to study the structure of solids. The technique involves bathing a chilled sample with radiation. When the sample is warmed up, the stored energy is released aslight in a pattern that reflects the atomic structure of the sample.

Twin peaks

When Rey used the method on ice he saw two peaks of light, at temperatures of around 120 K and 170 K. Rey wanted to test the idea, suggested by other researchers, that the 170 K peak reflects the pattern of hydrogen bonds within the ice. In his experiments he used heavy water (which contains the heavy hydrogen isotope deuterium), because it has stronger hydrogen bonds than normal water. “Much to our surprise, the thermoluminescence glows of the three systems were substantially different,” he says. He believes the result proves that the networks of hydrogen bonds in the samples were different.

For rest of article see www.newscientist.com, 11 June 2003 by Lionel Milgrom

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