Science: Liquid Water Crystals

The more scientists learn about "simple" things, the less simple they seem. Water, for instance, was long considered a simple mass of independent molecules jostling one another aimlessly, like marbles in a bag. Then someone noticed that when sound waves pass through water, they lose more energy than they theoretically should. A possible explanation: water molecules may be arranged in groups like small, loose crystals. If there are such "crystals," a sound wave would distort them, thus expending some of its energy.

Last week Harvard Physics Professor Gerald J. Holton told how he found...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!