Water droplets can sometimes turn into bleach when hitting a surface

Some researchers have seen an unusual effect where microscopic water drops turn into hydrogen peroxide after hitting a surface. A series of experiments is now getting closer to uncovering why it might happen

Physics 18 August 2022

Clean glass petri dish with liquid drop inside over blue light background

Researchers are unpicking what happens when very tiny water drops turn into hydrogen peroxide

JOYI CHANG/Alamy

Microscopic water droplets can sometimes turn into bleach after a hitting a surface. Now, researchers are starting to better understand this strange phenomenon. A series of experiments suggest that it may be down to having the right conditions for water molecules to receive an electron from the surface. The phenomenon may also be linked to why some viruses survive less well in humid conditions.

Three years ago, Richard Zare at Stanford University in California and his colleagues …

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