Have you ever tried to stab water? If so, I am guessing that it wasn't too satisfying. The water just moves to the side. Trying to cut a drop of water in half is equally unsatisfying. At least, it was...until now. This video was filmed by a research group led by Ryan Yanashima from the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Arizona State University. It shows the researchers trying to bisect a water droplet sitting on a hydrophobic Teflon surface using a superhydrophobic knife.
If you are wondering, no, "hydrophobic" does not mean that the table if scared of the water. And superhydrophobic does not mean that the knife is super scared of water. Rather, it means that the substance tends to repel, or does not mix with, water.
But why would someone want to cut water? Good question.
The researchers were looking into more efficient methods of cutting out and separating proteins from the biological fluids they're found in. Developing improved methods will make it easier to obtain proteins for analysis. They were ultimately able to slice the water because they coated the knives in polyethylene (which is a common kind of plastic), zinc, and copper. Te knives were then dipped into a solution of silver nitrate and a superhydrophobic solution known as HDFT for 20 seconds.
This adds to research recently produced at the University of Rochester, where scientists made a metal that is super water resistant. The material is so strongly water-repellent, the water actually gets bounced off. Then it lands on the surface again, gets bounced off again, and then it will just roll off from the surface,
You can see the result in the video below.