Water conducts electricity, but the process by which this familiar fluid passes along positive charges has puzzled scientists for decades.
But in a paper published in the Dec. 2 issue of the journal Science, an international team of researchers has finally caught water in the act — showing how water molecules pass along excess charges and, in the process, conduct electricity.
“This fundamental process in chemistry and biology has eluded a firm explanation,” said co-author Anne McCoy, professor of chemistry. “And now we have the missing piece that gives us the bigger picture: how protons essentially ‘move’ through water.”
The team was led by Mark Johnson, senior author and a professor at Yale University. For over a decade, Johnson, McCoy and two co-authors — Professors Kenneth Jordan at the University of Pittsburgh and Knut Asmis at Leipzig University — have collaborated to understand how molecules in complex arrangements pass along charged particles.
Read the full UW News story here. To learn more about Professor McCoy and her research, visit her faculty page and research group website.
We are delighted to announce that Anne McCoy will be joining the Department as Professor of Chemistry for the 2015-16 academic year. Prof. McCoy is moving to the University of Washington from Ohio State University, where she has been on the faculty since 1994. Prof. McCoy is a leader in the area theoretical spectroscopy and dynamics. Her research focuses on the development of theoretical and computational approaches for understanding spectral signatures of large amplitude motions. She is particularly interested in molecules that are of atmospheric and astrochemical interest, and other species that exhibit large amplitude excursions from the minimum energy geometry even at low-levels of excitation.
Prof. McCoy is deputy editor of the Journal of Physical Chemistry A, and she previously served as senior editor of the Journal of Physical Chemistry. She is a member of the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Professional Training, which she chaired from 2012-2014. Prof. McCoy’s many honors include Ohio State University’s Distinguished Scholar Award and Arts & Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award, several named lectureships, and election as a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
For more information about Prof. McCoy and her research, please visit her faculty page or contact her directly via email.