On 7/21/11 11:46 AM, "Michael Balter" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Since Larry knows a lot about water and its properties perhaps he can
tell us how likely it is that water molecules would maintain a
specific "structure" long enough for it to be not only measured but

My fellow water-lover Larry Romsted wrote:
I wanted to read some of Montagnier's papers before joining this discussion, but I can give some approximate numbers for the rate constants and half lives (the time for one half of the bonds in a collection of bonds to break) without reading any papers by Montagnier.

Liquid water, i.e., water above 0 oC (freezing point) and below 100 oC (boiling point) is held together primarily by hydrogen bonds. Hydrogen bond strengths, that is the weak bond (represented as ....) between two water molecules H-O-H....OH2, is on the order of 5 Kcal/mole of water. That is a very weak and therefore transient bond.  Such bonds break with a rate constant on the order of 10^9 sec-1. 10x10x10...., 9 times.  Put differently, the time for half of the bonds to break would be on the order of 10^-9 seconds (s). That is, 0.000000001 s.  That is a very short period of time (understatement), but the chemical bonds of water are breaking and reforming on this time scale.

In aqueous solution water molecules hydrated (solvate) every molecule that dissolves in water.  The bond strengths with all kinds of different groups on molecules in water are about the same strength as the hydrogen bond, or less.  This means that interactions with water are weak, but multiple and
it is these rapidly forming and breaking multiple bonds that stabilize molecules in solution.

I cannot imagine water molecules remembering anything about the size or shape of a molecule that they solvated after the molecule is removed for a time period much longer than the above time scale because water is a fluid composed of weak hydrogen bonds with very short half-lives.

Ice, however, is a solid and another story.  If a molecule that is entrapped in ice can be removed, the ice could certainly contain a hole in the shape of the molecule that disappeared for a much longer period of time.

                The antidote for any tendency to think water is well understood is to read
 Felix Franks  WATER.
        This slim volume is a standard antidote when we notice any student developing a belief that aqueous solutions of macromolecules are largely understood.  Franks has edited the definitive dozen-volume monograph on water which you can find in any good science library, but this little book is his summary  -  mainly just on water itself, the pure substance with the deceptively simple formula H2O.  It is an easy evening's read.  By about Ch 2 you'll be convinced that many key properties of water are not explained.  Near the end of the book Franks discusses briefly aqueous solutions, mainly of simple salts.   It will not by that stage surprise you that these are even less understood; and what little he has to say about macromolecules will leave the impression that even less is understood.
        Yet that is the type of chemical system in which an incompletely-described electrical system is said to have detected some unaccounted-for resonances.  Inferring 'exciting' Noo Eege conclusions is pathetic.  Less so is overconfident assertion that no such phenomenon could occur, just because we have no mechanism for it.