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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Aug 8;101(6):065502. Epub 2008 Aug 6.

Quantum Differences between Heavy and Light Water.

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ISIS Facility, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, Oxon, OX11 0QX, United Kingdom.


The structures of heavy and light water at ambient conditions are investigated with the combined techniques of x-ray diffraction, neutron diffraction, and computer simulation. It is found that heavy water is a more structured liquid than light water. We find the OH bond length in H2O is approximately 3% longer than the OD bond length in D2O. This is a much larger change than current predictions. Corresponding to this, the hydrogen bond in light water is approximately 4% shorter than in heavy water, while the intermolecular HH distance is approximately 2% longer.

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