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Embracing Happiness

Can magnetism, electrical energy, light energy, or special types of catalysts be used to create a specially clustered form of water that has health benefits?

Bottled water contaminants

In short, the answer is no. Water is already naturally a uniquely formed compound without much need for improvement. Such promotional gimmicks about special-structured water clusters, primarily on the Internet, are nothing but health quackery scams associated with a product common to everyone, drinking water. Much of this started with promotions on the healing benefits of treating water with magnetism and soon spread to other methods of treatment.

Chemists have long recognized water as a substance having unusual and unique properties that one would not at first sight expect from a small molecule having the formula H2O. It is generally agreed that the special properties of water stem from the tendency of its molecules to associate, forming short-lived and ever-changing polymeric units that are sometimes described as "clusters".

These clusters are more conceptual than physical in nature; they have no directly observable properties, and their transient existence (on the order of picoseconds) does not support an earlier view that water is a mixture of polymers (H2O) in which can have a variety of values. Instead, the currently favored model of water is one of a loosely-connected network that might best be described as one huge "cluster" whose internal connections are continually undergoing rearrangement.

Water has long been known to exhibit many physical properties that distinguish it from other small molecules of comparable mass. Chemists refer to these as the "anomalous" properties of water, but they are by no means mysterious; all are entirely predictable consequences of the way the size and nuclear charge of the oxygen atom conspire to distort the electronic charge clouds of the atoms of other elements when these are chemically bonded to the oxygen. Science and art come together in this painting by Taylor Mulder which portrays the water molecule - two hydrogens and one oxygen - in abstract figures enclosed in a molecular sphere. A covalent chemical bond consists of a pair of electrons shared between two atoms.

In the water molecule H2O, the single electron of each H is shared with one of the six outer-shell electrons of the oxygen, leaving four electrons which are organized into two non-bonding pairs. Thus the oxygen atom is surrounded by four electron pairs that would ordinarily tend to arrange themselves as far from each other as possible in order to minimize repulsions between these clouds of negative charge. This would ordinarily result in a tetrahedral geometry in which the angle between electron pairs (and therefore the H-O-H bond angle) is 109°.

However, because the two non-bonding pairs remain closer to the oxygen atom, these exert a stronger repulsion against the two covalent bonding pairs, effectively pushing the two hydrogen atoms closer together. The result is a distorted tetrahedral arrangement in which the H—O—H angle is 104.5°. Because molecules are smaller than light waves, they cannot be observed directly, and must be "visualized" by alternative means.

Any uncertainty that the chemistry community may have about the nature and existence of water clusters is not apparently shared by the various "inventors" who have not only "discovered" these elusive creatures, but who claim findings that science has never even dreamed of! These promoters have spun their half-baked crackpot chemistry into various watery nostrums that they say are essential to your health and able to cure whatever-ails-you. These beneficence are hawked to the more gullible of the general public, usually in the form of a "concentrate" that you can add to your drinking water—all for a $20-$50 charge on your credit card.

Some of these internet hucksters claim to make the water into clusters" that are larger, smaller, or hexagonal-shaped, allowing them to more readily promote "cellular hydration" and remove "toxins" from your body. The fact is that none of these views has any significant support in the scientific communities of chemistry, biochemistry, or physiology, nor are they even considered worthy of debate. The only places you are likely to see these views advocated are in literature (and on Web sites) intended to promote the sale of these products to consumers in the notoriously credulous "alternative" health and "dietary supplement" market. It's best to simply buy an affordable and effective water treatment method for your home!