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The anomalous decrease of the viscosity of water with applied pressure has been known for over a century. It occurs concurrently with major structural changes: The second coordination shell around a molecule collapses onto the first shell. Viscosity is thus a macroscopic witness of the progressive breaking of the tetrahedral hydrogen bond network that makes water so peculiar. At low temperature, water at ambient pressure becomes more tetrahedral and the effect of pressure becomes stronger. However, surprisingly, no data are available for the viscosity of supercooled water under pressure, in which dramatic anomalies are expected based on interpolation between ambient pressure data for supercooled water and high pressure data for stable water. Here we report measurements with a time-of-flight viscometer down to [Formula: see text] and up to [Formula: see text], revealing a reduction of viscosity by pressure by as much as 42%. Inspired by a previous attempt [Tanaka H (2000) J Chem Phys 112:799-809], we show that a remarkably simple extension of a two-state model [Holten V, Sengers JV, Anisimov MA (2014) J Phys Chem Ref Data 43:043101], initially developed to reproduce thermodynamic properties, is able to accurately describe dynamic properties (viscosity, self-diffusion coefficient, and rotational correlation time) as well. Our results support the idea that water is a mixture of a high density, "fragile" liquid, and a low density, "strong" liquid, the varying proportion of which explains the anomalies and fragile-to-strong crossover in water.


In a clever study of DNA hydration using SFG spectroscopy, Poul Petersen and his coworkers have found that the chiral spine of hydration in the minor groove, inferred from oxygen locations for hydrated crystalline DNA by Dickerson and collaborators in the 1980s,...