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Quiz question

  1. May 21, 2004 #1
    This was a national science quiz question:

    What's the smallest amount of molecules for water to have the properties of a fluid.
    a)1 molecule
    b)2 molecules
    c)6 molecules

    What's the answer and why?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2004 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    The best answer is probably (c) 6 molecules, but really, you may need a lot more. (a) is ruled out from viscosity. If you want a liquid, you must see surface tension, which requires at least a bilayer. You can't make a stable bilayer with only 2 molecules. You might also want to have indistinguishability. There are questions and complications arising out of the method used to contain these molecules.
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