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According to Breaking Science News
Professor David McKenzie from the University of Sydney and his PhD student Enyi Guo have demonstrated quantum tunneling in water — a quantum phenomenon first predicted by British theoretical physicist Dr. Ronald Wilfred Gurney in 1931. The research is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A.
Professor McKenzie and Guo applied quantum techniques to understanding the electrolysis of water, which is the application of an electric current to water to produce the constituent elements hydrogen and oxygen.
The researchers found that electrons can ‘tunnel’ through barriers in aqueous solutions away from the electrodes, neutralizing ions of impurities in that water.
This can be detected in changes in current, which has applications for biosensing, the detection of biological elements in solution.
This neutralization of ions in solution is a different idea to that currently believed, where the neutralisation only happens at the electrode surface.
“This lays the basis for new and faster methods to detect biomedical impurities in water, with potentially important implications for biosensing techniques,” Professor McKenzie said.
“A better understanding of electrolysis is becoming more important for applications in alternative energies in what is sometimes called the hydrogen economy.”
Without storage methods, solar energy only works when the Sun is shining.
“To produce energy at other times, one method is to use electricity from solar cells to electrolyze water, producing hydrogen gas which can then be stored and burned later to produce energy when needed,” the researchers said.
“The tunneling effect refers to the quantum mechanical process where a particle moves through a barrier that in classical physical theory should not occur.”
“Electrons are able to ‘tunnel’ in biological and chemical systems in a non-trivial manner that has implications for photosynthesis and other biological processes. It occurs through barriers that are just a few nanometers thick.”
This article and images were originally posted on [Breaking Science News] November 13, 2017 at 07:30AM
Credit to Author and Breaking Science News | ESIST.T>G>S Recommended Articles Of The Day