Viscosity and real-space molecular motion of water: Observation with inelastic x-ray scattering

Y Shinohara and W Dmowski and T Iwashita and B Wu and D Ishikawa and AQR Baron and T Egami, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 98, 022604 (2018).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.98.022604

Even though viscosity is one of the fundamental properties of liquids, its microscopic origin is not fully understood. We determined the spatial and temporal correlation of molecular motions of water near room temperature and its temperature variation on a picosecond timescale and a subnanometer spatial scale, through high-resolution inelastic x-ray scattering measurement. The results, expressed in terms of the time- dependent pair correlation function called the Van Hove function, show that the timescale of the decay of the molecular correlation is directly related to the Maxwell relaxation time near room temperature, which is proportional to viscosity. This conclusion validates our earlier finding that the topological changes in atomic or molecular connectivity are the origin of viscosity in liquids.

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