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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Jan 21;106(3):037801. Epub 2011 Jan 18.

Density fluctuations in liquid water.

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The SEC Strategic Research Cluster and the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology, School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.


The density distributions and fluctuations in grids of varying size in liquid water at ambient pressure, both above the freezing point and in the supercooled state, are analyzed from the trajectories obtained from large-scale molecular dynamics simulations. It is found that the occurrence of low- and high-density regions (LDL and HDL) is transient and their respective residence times are dependent on the size of the simulated system. The spatial extent of density-density correlation is found to be within 7 Å or less. The temporal existence of LDL and HDL arises as a result of natural density fluctuations of an equilibrium system. The density of bulk water at ambient conditions is homogenous.

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