Saturday, March 12, 2005

Can water "remember"?

Avogadro's number is an accident of nature. It is the number of particles that delivers a mole of a substance. Avogadro's number = 6,022 x 1023. Put it simply, one mole of any substance contains Avogadro's number of molecules, atoms, or "elementary entities" of that substance: an example is one mole of oxygen contains 6,022 x 1023 atoms of oxygen or one mole of water contains 6,022 x 1023 molecules of water.

Imagine that Socrates on his 20-years birthday slurped a glass of water. Most of the water molecule, he swallowed would in short time be separated again, and after several years they would have ended in the oceans. This happened 2.430 years ago, we can fair enough assume that the water molecule swallowed by Socrates in the meantime is gradually spread on earth (an exception is the great mass of ice on the poles, but it will not change the result much).

Assuming there is 180 g water in a glass, then we can count that in the earth mass of water is something like 6,022 x 1021 glasses of water, and that Socrates swallowed a number of water molecules, corresponding to 10 x Avogadro´s number, this is something like 6 x 1024 water molecules. In other words there can be found 1.000 of water molecules, that Socrates swallowed, in each glass of water coming from the faucet (huge arithmetical problem).

Why is this interesting?

Avogadro's number often yields practical reasonings in real life:

The medical concept of homeopathy it's best expressed by the "Law of Similars", which states that the symptoms created by a medicine in molecular and/or repeated dose given to healthy individuals may be cured by the same medicine prepared by the method specified in the homeopathic pharmacopeia.

The homeopathy theory assumes that water is "doped" by the chemical properties of molecules that it once came in contact with. In this practice one dilutes the original solution to the point where one removes all molecules, yet it is claimed that the water retains some chemical properties of the molecule. If this were so, then where did the pure water used in this process come from? The water that homeopaths themselves use once was in contact with other chemicals, including the water Socrates drank, chemical wastes, radioactive metals, dinosaur urine, and various poisons. According to the homeopathic theory, all water in the world should remember its contact with millions of chemical substances.

This thought is alarming, one might fear that the water, passed througt the body of Sokrates will remember this experience. And as the homøopathic effect depends on conformity, then intelligence must be struggled with intelligence. Or does the water knows when it has been diluted by a real homøopath?

Yet in practice we find that the homeopathic water remembers absolutely nothing at all, except for the properties of the chemicals that the homeopath claims will be useful. Claiming that water can remember is absolutely foolishness.

Further information: absoluteastronomy.