Equally charged particles can also be attracted – the discovery of researchers from Oxford

Equally charged particles can also be attracted – the discovery of researchers from Oxford


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Microparticles that have the same electric charge are able to attract each other in a solution.

Depending on the solvent, positive and negative particles combine differently, according to a study by scientists from the University of Oxford. published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, writes Phys.org.

A group of researchers from the Faculty of Chemistry used a microscope to track the movement of negatively charged silica microparticles in water and found that they are attracted to each other.

Positively charged silica particles repel each other, confirming the electromagnetic principle that opposite charges attract and are equal push back

However, when the researchers replaced the water with ethyl alcohol, they saw that the positively charged silica particles began to bond, while the negatively charged particles did not.

Using the theory of interparticle interactions, scientists have established that there is a force of attraction in water for negatively charged particles that outweighs electrostatic repulsion over long distances.

Whereas it is impossible for positively charged ones in water.

Scientists discovered that everything depends on the hydrogen indicator (pH) – this a value that shows the degree of activity of hydrogen ions in the solution, that is, the degree of acidity or alkalinity of the solution.

Therefore, by changing the pH, scientists investigated when negatively charged particles can combine in water, and when they cannot.

According to the scientists, the results of the scientific work will affect a number of processes that include interparticle and intermolecular interaction, in particular in the field of medicine.

“I am proud of my two graduate students, as well as the undergraduates who worked on the research to ultimately make this fundamental discoveryMadhavi Krishnan, lead researcher on the study, said.

We used to reportedthat Harvard awarded the laureates of the 2023 Ignobel Prize.

In the “Medicine” category, the award went to scientists who investigated whether the number of hairs in each of the two nostrils of a person is the same, counting them in dead people.


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