By Karen R. Smith, WC&P Executive Editor

April Fools’ Day will mark the conclusion of WQA Aquatech and thousands of attendees and visitors will be wending their way home after the show. Get unpacked, get caught up with the family and the business—and get ready to work. Maximizing the benefits of your attendance means reaching out to those new contacts; making appointments, reading the product literature, visiting the websites, arranging training sessions—in short, using everything you garnered by going to the industry’s foremost Opportunity Show.

Many have told me that trade show revenues are down—that sales are no longer made on the show floor to the extent they once were. That is no doubt true if only because the ability to view and purchase products and services on the Internet means customers no longer have to wait for a physical meeting to do business. However, the opportunities at such gatherings are more important than ever. As email and cell phones have increased communications, personal contact has become more notable and valuable. What our best trade shows provide is a venue for such interactions and it is those occurrences you must work to maintain when you head homeward.

While most of us were busy getting ready for Chicago, big news about water came out of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL). The SSRL is a division of Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, which is operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy. SSRL is a National User Facility that provides synchrotron radiation, a name given to x-rays or light produced by electrons circulating in a storage ring at nearly the speed of light. These extremely bright x-rays can be used to investigate various forms of matter ranging from objects of atomic and molecular size to man-made materials with unusual properties.

Dr. Anders Nilsson and his colleagues have determined that water (in its liquid state) is not lots of little pyramids with triangular bases (formed when each water molecule connects to four others). Instead, they report that liquid water is a mass of rings and chains, with most molecules only hooking up with two others.

To say this stunned the scientific community is an understatement; in fact, scientists at UCBerkeley rapidly issued a statement declaring that water must be lots of tiny pyramids because it has always been described as such. Many are waiting to see what a UCDavis chemist shows. At that campus, Giulia Galli is using a supercomputer to determine what structure water should have, according to basic principles. Quoted in the Gainesville Sun (Fla.), she explained that different structures of water should behave differently and that determining water’s true structure could, in turn, radically change our fundamental ideas of biology.

All of this has given new credence to the work of Dr. Masaru Emoto, who has been documenting his experiments with water in books, seminars and presentations, which show that its structure is clusters that can be physically altered by words and thoughts. Without standard scientific trials, many found his work easy to dismiss.

Those standards were maintained by Yale researchers, however—and they found clusters as well. Their report, “Infrared spectroscopy of negatively charged water clusters: Evidence for a linear network” by Patrick Ayotte, Gary H. Weddle, Christopher G. Bailey, Mark A. Johnson, Fernando Vila and Kenneth D. Jordan (University of Pittsburgh) has an introduction that states in part:

“ We report auto-detachment spectra of the mass-selected, anionic water clusters, (H2O)π, n = 2, 3, 5–9, 11 in the OH stretching region (3,000–4,000 cm–1), and interpret the spectra with the aid of ab initio calculations. For n ≥ 5, the spectra are structured and are generally dominated by an intense doublet, split by about 100 cm–1, which gradually shifts toward lower energy with increasing cluster size. This behavior indicates that the n = 5–11 clusters share a common structural motif. “

What does this mean for the water treatment and purification industry? One company has already announced that it is selling ‘the world’s first vibrationally charged bottled water’. There are a variety of news reports on this new offering by H20M, based in Los Angeles, including that it may be lovingly sung to before bottling.

I’m playing old Motown records near our water cooler. I’ll let you know the result!




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