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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The structure of ambient water

  • Author(s): Clark, GNI
  • Cappa, CD
  • Smith, JD
  • Saykally, RJ
  • Head-Gordon, T
  • et al.

We review the spectroscopic techniques and scattering experiments used to probe the structure of water, and their interpretation using empirical and ab initio models, over the last 5 years. We show that all available scientific evidence overwhelmingly favors the view of classifying water near ambient conditions as a uniform, continuous tetrahedral liquid. While there are controversial issues in our understanding of water in the supercooled state, in confinement, at interfaces, or in solution, there is no real controversy in what is understood as regards bulk liquid water under ambient conditions. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

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